My First Royal Icing Experience
Three years ago today, I started my journey of decorating sugar cookies using royal icing. An old friend of mine wanted me to do "adult" shaped cookies for a Pure Romance party she was going to be hosting within a week. I had no previous experience with decorating cookies at all, I'm a cake decorator not a cookie decorator. I even asked another friend of mine, who is a cookie decorator, if she could take on the order. Unfortunately, she didn't feel comfortable doing "adult" shaped cookies. Boo!!
My friend begged and pleaded with me to do these cookies, I even tried to order them from another bakery. Everyone was charging an arm and a leg for these cookies, and I couldn't understand why.
I had to put on my big girl panties and start doing research on decorating, royal icing recipes and tips for sturdy cookies. I'm not a huge fan of sugar cookies but I figured out a soft sugar cookie recipe, that was tasty and sturdy. Next was figuring out the royal icing recipe, which was tough. I asked for pointes from my cookie decorating friend, but she wasn't much help. I was more nervous than before. I went to my favorite go to app, YouTube, the best app to learn almost anything. I watched countless videos, step-by-step tutorials, for hours. Of course, the people in the videos made it look super easy! By the end of the day, I found a basic recipe to start from and tweaked it a bit. I learned different techniques and tips. One tip for sure is when making your royal icing, make sure you whip it until you get stiff peaks. Another tip would be when decorating make sure you have a border which outlines the shape of the cookie. The outline will keep the "flooded" icing in place. Flood icing is watered down royal icing that gives it a smooth finish.
With my sugar cookie and royal icing recipes ready, I had to go out and search for this special cookie cutter. I went to my local supply store and looked on Amazon, none of them were the right shape that I was looking for. I had to pay a visit to the local Cirilla's in the area, awkward, but I found what I had been looking for. Ready to start this cookie decorating process, with now three days to finish, I got started. The cookie decorating process was tough; my icing was too watered down, colors weren't darkening enough for me, and my brothers weren't too fond of me making these cookies in our kitchen. LOL! The process literally took those entire three days, it takes hours for royal icing to dry once flooded, unless you have a dehydrator. A dehydrator helps speed up the drying process, which would normally take 8-24 hours to do, without it. Once the cookies were flooded and dried properly, I did add a few fun touches on it. Want to see? Scroll pass if you don't like to see these over-the-top cookies, lol.
They were a big hit at the party, and my friend was very proud that I tackled the task at hand. I finally understood why these cookies were pricey. Looking at them now, I see all the imperfections, but during that time I was super excited the way the cookies turned out.
Just from posting this photo on social media, I got a lot of feedback and orders for decorated cookies. With the help of all the new orders, different shapes and themes, I've almost mastered the techniques. Of course, I'm not master yet. Here's the most recent photo of some cookies I did over the weekend.
I've come a loooooong way, and I'm so proud of how far I've come. I wrote this post to show you to never give up, no matter how many obstacles may come your way. Sometimes it takes years to master a skill, I still have many years to go though. Thank you for reading my very long post about my first royal icing cookie.
In the comments let me know if you have any tips or questions about royal icing.