Did you ever wonder how you get that beautiful smooth surface on a sugar cookie? It is actually relatively easy to do. The key to getting that look is using Royal Icing. It dries hard and smooth, and makes a great surface for piping or adding extra detail.
Royal Icing Recipe
3 egg whites
4 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon corn syrup
Beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat well. Add the balance of the ingredients and beat until glossy.
Creating the Smooth Surface:
- Using a small round tip (#1), pipe around the exterior of the shape you wish to fill with some of the prepared icing.
- Take a portion of the Royal Icing you prepared and place it in a separate bowl. Thin it with water, adding only a few drops at a time. The consistency you are looking for is slightly runny. To check if you have the right consistency, use the “10 second rule.” Drag a spatula through the frosting to make a path. Count how many seconds it takes for the surface of the frosting to fill the path and become completely smooth again. It should take approximately 10 seconds… if it takes more time than that, your frosting needs more water added. If it takes less time, your frosting is too thin and you will need to stir in additional icing sugar to thicken it. This icing will be used to “flood” the interior of the piped shape. You can either carefully drop it from a spoon into the piped area and spread it to the edges, or fill a decorating bottle and use a round tip #2 to fill (flood) the interior. For a more in-depth tutorial, check-out this link.
- You will want to use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles that appear on the surface. It also helps if you very gently tap the cookie on the counter to help the icing smooth out nicely before setting.
Once the cookies have been flooded and the air bubbles removed, you will want to let the cookies set for several hours before adding any additional details to them.
*This icing is also ideal for holding the pieces together when making a gingerbread house.
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