So sorry… yesterday just got away from me. On top of the norm, I hosted my book club last night; they are great group of ladies. Anyway, here are the tips I promised:
First of all, you have to have the right type of icing: royal icing. Don’t let the name scare you, it’s just one pound of confectioner’s sugar, five tablespoons of meringue powder (can be found at William’s Sonoma or another similar bake shop), a half cup of water (or less) and gel-paste food coloring (again, William’s Sonoma has a great set). You’ll need to mix the icing until it’s fluffy, yet dense, about seven to eight minutes. Then you’ll need to use the icing immediately or transfer it to an airtight container.
Separate your icing into the number of colors you need for your project. Then color your icing one drop of gel at a time. It’s a lot stronger than you might think. Once all the icing is the colors you need, separate them again so that you can thin one half for flooding. With your second set, thin each color with one teaspoon of water at a time. Often, one teaspoon is all it takes depending on how many times you’ve separated your icing. Now you have thick and thin versions of all the colors you need.
Trim one corner of a Ziploc bag and insert a #3 icing tip with a connector. Repeat this process for each of your colors (thin and thick). Then spoon each into a bag. (I always mark the thin bags so I don’t accidentally ruin a cookie by trying to trim it with the thin icing.)
Now that your icing is prepped, take a cooled sugar cookie and pipe an outline around the shape. Allow it to set for 10 to 15 seconds and then you can flood the cookie with the thinner version of the color. While the flooded color is still wet, you can add a different thinned color to make polka dots or other designs. Allow the flooded colors to set for several minutes before adding any additional piping or layers to your design.
I hope these few tips are helpful in making your own fun creations.