Growing up, I remember the smell of Christmas cookies baking in our gold enamel Kenmore oven. And, the familiar smell of a few burned cookie’s edges, was the closest thing to what I imagine a Hallmark movie set smells likes. If we had smellavision.
And, the best part of sugar cookies was the icing my mom made for the stacks and stacks of sugar cookies. My mom had her fav recipe, but today I want to share my favorite royal icing recipe.
Royal Icing Recipe
There was always a date on the calendar dedicated to baking and frosting sugar cookies. We sorted the cookies on the counter by shape. The complicated reindeer antlers rarely stayed intact from the cookie sheet to the wax-lined table.
But, we always got to eat the cookies that failed to nail the perfect landing.
My mom set aside an evening to frost sugar cookies. It was a family event with sprinkles and primary color tinted icings.
My sister took her time and outlined every cookie with black icing. She meticulously matched her icing colors. Whereas, I preferred the slap-and-slather icing application.
The sugar cookie tradition continued with my family with a few changes to the basics. I like thicker sugar cookie dough than my mom. And, then there is the difference between my mom’s icing recipe and mine. My mom’s icing was more like a glaze. She might have watered it down a bit too much to frost all of those cookies.
I needed to find my own favorite royal icing recipe.
For years I used a sugar cookie icing recipe from Martha Stewart. Martha’s icing recipe was made with powdered sugar, a few drops of water and an egg white. The egg white always made me nervous.
The last thing I needed during the holidays was a salmonella outbreak at the annual Secret Santa party.
Of course, I never thought twice about eating a tube of raw cookie dough with my girlfriends in middle school- with a shared spoon. Eww!
Sidenote: I read this article by a food blogger about the safety of raw eggs.
And, then a few years ago I graduated to a royal icing recipe and discovered the magic of meringue powder and corn syrup.
Pin this image for the recipe
Favorite Royal Icing Recipe
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp corn syrup
- 4 TBSP meringue powder
- Mix ingredients and adjust water for the preferred consistency