DECORATING: Finessing Details Makes a Big Difference

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What's the best way to adjust royal icing consistencies and colors?

RAEANNE H.: To make icing thicker, sift a small amount of confectioners' sugar over the bowl of icing; mix and repeat to get to a thicker consistency for outline work.

To make icing thinner, add a little bit of water at a time. (Icing thickens as it is stirred to add color, so add the color first, then the water.) To color icing, use a toothpick with a small amount of gel paste, or a drop at a time of liquid color; repeat to get the desired color.

Colored icing should sit, covered, for 10 minutes to develop its color, which will intensify. If you add too much color and your icing is too dark, add more white icing, not water.

How do you neatly add dragees and sprinkles to decorated cookies when you want them in a particular place?

RAEANNE H.: Use long, angled tweezers; special ones are available at baking and craft stores.

See Raeanne's directions for her edible gingerbread cookie ornaments, Page F12.

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