I’m trying something new at work and it all started this past month. Aside from photography, I’m mainly an Instructional Coach for teachers at a school. Many people have no idea what this means and the long and the short of it is that I help teachers plan lessons and projects that are more student-centered and promote engagement! Recently I had been feeling lonely at my desk with not many projects on the horizon. So I decided why wait for people to come to me when I could go to them! And thus POP – UP PD (professional development) was formed.
Essentially I park my tush in a division for the entire day and offer professional development on a specific technique or tool like Nearpod, Flipgrid, Padlet, etc. etc. The really fun part though is that I… provide… snacks. Yes, it’s true, I am not above luring people in with food, especially tasty food.
The first round of POP – UP PDI made brownies and had goldfish and M&Ms and for round two which is this week, I decided I wanted to make Valentines Day cookies!! Really pretty ones with royal icing on them to make them look fancy and impressive.
When I came home and told Sterling what my plan was all he had to say was “Well yeah but… Valentines Day already happened….” When I told my mom the big exciting plan for my weekend to bake all day she said “But… Valentines Day already happened…”
Well, you know what I have to say to those logical questions… TA FOOEY! My twist on this is that we LOVE POP – UP PD and so we shall have lovely Valentines Day cookies even after Valentines Day. 🙂 The other reality is that I really enjoy doing this! It gives me a creative and artistic outlet like crafting but by making something yummy and edible like cookies. Perfect combo except I need to get these out of my house before I eat so much sugar I look like Aunt Marge from Harry Potter… Not a pretty sight…
So today I’m sharing the recipe I use for the Royal Icing – noting that you can do this with any old sugar cookie recipe. I’m not 100% sold on my cookie recipe yet so I figured it wasn’t worth sharing until I love it. Before getting started on this project if you choose to do it, a few tips:
TIPS to Royal Icing Madness
- Accept that this will create a giant mess. You will have icing in your hair. You will have sugar everywhere. This is fact.
- Food Coloring sold in a store like Michaels that is not water based is 100000x better. The color is more accurate, easier to accomplish and it won’t water down your icing.
- Finding the right consistency is KEY. Too thin and it pours all over everything and won’t hold shape (made this mistake this weekend… HUGE ugly mess). Too thick and it’s a PAIN to handle and it won’t be as smooth a finish. So here’s a tip to fix. If it’s too thick add just a splash of warm water and mix thoroughly. If it’s too thin, add some more powdered sugar and mix thoroughly.
- Start with the base colors, let them dry completely before adding anything on top.
- If you’re like me and royally mess any of the cookies up (I’m talking ugly blobs of icing), just cover it with sprinkles and nobody will ever know. Sprinkles are a GAME CHANGER.
By the way, if you’re reading this wondering – what the hill (misspelled on purpose btw) is royal icing then here is the gist. Royal icing is a type of icing that will dry on a surface with a clean smooth hard finish. It can be used to create really intricate designs and is popular on cookies.
With all that being said – if you ever have questions or want help I’m not an expert but I am an eager learner and I can totally share my Pinterest boards with you where I have designs saved to try later. 🙂 If you want to give it a go scroll down for the Royal Icing recipe 🙂
16oz Powdered Sugar
3 Tablespoons of Meringue Powder (can find in stores like Michaels)
1 Teaspoon light corn syrup
4-6 Tablespoons warm water
Mix all ingredients EXCEPT the water with an electric mixer. Once powdered sugar, meringue powder, and light corn syrup are mixed slowly add in warm water, one tablespoon at a time until you’ve reached a good consistency. **You want it to be able to drip slowly, too fast and the icing will run and won’t hold it’s shape, too thick and it will be hard to work with and will lack the polished look**
Note: The consistency is the hardest part to master and is A LOT of trial and error. This weekend I used a lot of sprinkles to cover up very runny icing. It’s okay if it happens just keep trying until you get a consistency you like. I typically find that 4 tablespoons of warm water is all it takes.