I seriously think this frosting/icing earned it's name because it is a ROYAL pain in the a** to make. Now, maybe I'm doing something wrong for following the recipe to a "T", but if in the side notes it would have said to add a little bit of water to help with the mixing process, I would have an entirely different view of this beast.
Royal (stiff) icing is what's used in order to 'pipe' a border around cookies. It helps to keep your Royal (loose) icing on the cookie after you flood the top of the cookie. Am I losing anyone?
So, I recieved a great gift at the SFAM Holiday Hoorah this year. Winnie gave me this book which I have been wanting for almost 6 months now. Inside the book it talks about the proper way to frost the top of a cookie.
Basically you use royal icing to pipe a border around the cookie. You then use a loose royal icing to flood the top of the cookie and then use a toothpick to kind of guide the loose icing all over the top of the cookie. The stiff icing holds everything in place and allows the top of your cookie to look "almost" perfectly frosted.
Royal Icing Recipe:
3 Pasteurized egg whites
4 1/2 cups Sifted confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp Lemon juice
With an electric mixer (with paddle attachment) beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add in sugar (1/2 cup at a time). Scrap down bowl. Add in lemon juice and beat for about 6-8 minutes.
*AT THIS POINT... YOUR ARM WILL FALL OFF. JUST ADD A LITTLE BIT OF WATER*
Use immediately or refrigerate. Icing should be at room temperature before use.
Loose Royal Icing, is just royal icing thinned out with water. It should have a runny consistency.