My problem is how to maintain that lovely glossy look of the royal icing after it's dried on the cookie. Here is my recipe:
1 ounce meringue powder
1 pound 10X sugar
1/4-1/3 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Combine meringue powder in mixer bowl fitted with whip attachment. Add water and beat until stiff peaks form. Beat in lemon juice.
I was originally trained to make Royal by slowly adding the 10X sugar to fresh eggs whites and beating with a paddle at medium speed until all the sugar is encorporated. I always got a beautiful, glossy and elastic frosting suitable for piping fancy stand-alone arabesques, cages and what-not.
Now that using powdered egg white is considered preferable due to food-borne illness concerns, I always end up with a dull and brittle product when finally dry. I've experimented with adding corn syrup (never dried, looked dull anyway), glycerin (no difference) and glucose (improved elasticity, but still dull, no gloss).
What do you other pastry chefs suggest? Is it an ingredient problem or a process problem?