Aspiring pediatric surgeon, lover of traveling and experiencing other cultures, foodie, and last but not least a college student I'm random and I like random things! Take it or leave it =)
Thanks love! :) I did orange piping too after I posted that picture.
Yes, I made my own royal icing. Royal icing is the type that dries hard, so if you’re looking for alternate recipes, that’s what you should search up. There are different kinds of consistencies for royal icing- regular, stiff, and flood icing. Usually people use regular royal icing to outline and flood icing to fill in large areas of space, but I was able to skip that step since I was just outlining things really in mendhi patterns. There are wonderful youtube videos that you can look to as resources- I particularly love sweetambscookies for design ideas (because she’s so intricate and neat!) and Julia M Usher for both basic icing techniques and intricate detailing.
For the cookies I made, I frosted them using royal icing made with meringue powder. Many recipes call for egg whites, but that’s too much of a hassle if I can just use a couple of tablespoons of powder. Here’s the recipe:
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder (available at Joanns or Michaels)
- 6 tablespoons water
- 4 cups confectioners sugar
Mix them first on a low setting, then gradually quite high for 7-10 minutes until the off white color turns really light white. There shouldn’t be many peaks (stiff peaks if anything) formed when dipping a spoon in and taking it out. It should be pretty smooth in texture.
Add your coloring in afterwards. Stay away from water based food coloring because you’d need like 100 drops to have it get darker. Use Wilton food gels available at Walmart or Joanns for about $2.
Just as a side note- I made a little too much and ended up wasting some of the icing, so you might want to cut the recipe in half.
After mixing in my colors, I put the royal icing in disposable piping bags. I used a couplet and a #1 Wilton tip ($1 at Joanns, the thinnest one available) and taped the couplet down to make sure it’s secure. I made sure there was enough pressure in the piping bag and twisted the top/rubber banded it to ensure that when I’m squeezing the bag, the icing isn’t coming out from the opposite direction.
As for piping/holding the bag, I learned most of the basics from Julia Usher, but here are some tips:
- Don’t drag your piping on the cookie like you might do with mendhi. You have to pipe with the tip slightly above the cookie itself to create a smooth line. Otherwise your tip will drag on the cookie and it will look messy/unprofessional.
- To create straight lines, touch down and pipe on your cookie as a starting point and pick up your piping bag slightly away from the cookie, creating a straight line as you go, and touch down again where you want it to end. The piping that’s in “the air” technically will fall in place in a perfectly straight line. Julia Usher has a great video about how to do this if my explanation isn’t too clear.
- People have their own ways of holding the bag, but what I found the easiest to do is having my right hand closer to the piping tip itself and my left hand resting near the rubber band/above all the icing. So I would put pressure on the icing/move it down with my left hand and use my right hand to navigate it where I want it to go.
- Be patient with the designs you want to create. You have to go slow or otherwise the royal icing won’t fall in the right place.
- Make sure to put enough/even pressure on the icing. Otherwise the icing might skip/break a line that you’d be making before you want it to. That also might be an indication that your royal icing might be getting too hard (in that case, take off the rubber band and dump the icing back into your mixing bowl and mix it again with a little water to make it slightly thinner) and then rebag the icing.
So in the end I used royal icing of one consistency and simply piped mendhi designs. They take quite some time, so I’d probably never do 90 again. Maybe parties of 30 or 50 seem more suitable.
Sorry for the long response, but I hope this was helpful/detailed enough. :) I am by no means an expert though so you might want to refer to those youtube channels for more information.
If you want I can also send you the recipe of the sugar cookies! They turned out so yummy (surprisingly too because I usually hate sugar cookies)!