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Royal Icing

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello All: This is my first post on cheftalk. I have a lump problem with royal icing. I teach kids to decorate cookies and also use squeeze bottles with a #2 tip. I use meringue powder and the recipe posted on the can. I sift my powdered sugar. I get little tiny lumps in the frosting. It clogs the tip making it frustrating for the kids and me. If I beat the frosting too much to ensure smoothness, I get air bubbles when decorating. Any input? Thank you, Joan
post #2 of 9
If you're mixing the meringue powder and the powdered sugar with your stand mixer on low speed and them gradually adding the water while you continue mixing on high speed and continue beating until the mixture forms very high and very shiny peaks (that sometimes takes as much as 7 - 8 minutes) I'm at a loss as to what's going wrong. But I am certain that the problem is in the method you are using to add the water to the mix. I prefer to use fresh egg whites at room temperature (when I have to make royal icing) but that's obviously out of the question in your situation where you have kids in the mix.:eek:
That said; I hate Royal Icing and only use it where nothing else will do the job. Have you given any thought to using a buttercream frosting?
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks myplaceoryours. I too am using a stand mixer. I use royal icing because dries quickly and hardens so that kids can take cookie home. In my experience, buttercream never hardens and cannot be mailed. I have mixed at high speed before and got air bubbles. The little lumps are tangy tasting which leads me to believe it is hardened meringue powder. Thanks again, Joan
post #4 of 9
Are you scraping down the bowl early in the mixing process? Also, make sure you add your water in a stream, instead of all at once.

I usually beat my royal icing (with a paddle) for a good 4 minutes, and air bubbles are not an issue. In fact, the incorporation of some air is what gives it a fluffy consistency, and a very white color.

I use dried egg whites and 10x sugar (essentially the same as meringue powder), without sifting, and have never had a problem with lumps.

Don't use real whites-- too much health risk, esp. with children! It's fine for decoration, but not for something that's going to be eaten.
post #5 of 9
Joan, Why don't you try putting the meringue powder in the blender, or food processor on high for a minute? See if that breaks up any lumps, Maybe even try a 50/50 meringue, powdered sugar mix so that the meringue can't clump up easily again. This is just a random thought.
post #6 of 9
Believe that's a myth regarding the danger of the eggs in royal icing. I believe the proportion of sugar makes it quite safe, but you could probably find a definitive answer Googling for it.

Royal icing with sifted confectioner's sugar and fresh egg white and a bit of water if needed will not lump or block piping tubes (strain first through a stocking if you need ultra-fine piping).
post #7 of 9
Hi, I jost got done making a bazillon cookies over th holidays...most were decorated with Royal Icing I don't bother sifting but I do add the water all at once, stir thoroughly before mixing on high for a few minutes. I don't mix too long for decorating cookies because it seems to keep them from drying dull/matt looking. If you're making fancy flowers, then you'll need to mix forever to get it stiff enough.

Have fun with the kidlets.
post #8 of 9

Lumps in Royal Icing

"I sift my powdered sugar. I get little tiny lumps in the frosting. It clogs the tip..."

The cornstarch in confectioner's sugar can cause lumps in Royal Icing.
post #9 of 9

Paddle 4 min plus

you can use pasturized whites if you would like to use liquid egg whites.
i will paddle the royal out on low for a min or two to dump out air bubbles.
straining and sifting and scrapping will help ward off the lumps.
make sure you keep your icing covered with moist towel and plastic wrap.
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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