When I got home and took a closer look at my recipes, they were different than every one of theirs! So, here is what I am going to do today, I am going to give you the recipes I use and also give you links to some recipes of the pros who taught at CookieCon. Then you can decide which recipe is best for you!
I actually used two different recipes BEFORE CC, (three, if you count my cream cheese royal glaze but I will talk about glazes another day)!
The first recipe is great if you are a home baker, just making the occasional cookies because this recipes does not require meringue powder, so it may be just right for you.
Pasteurized Egg Royal icing
3 oz pasteurized egg whites (in the dairy case by the egg beaters)
2 teaspoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice (you can sub vanilla)
4 cups of powdered sugar
food coloring (optional)
In the bowl of a large mixer combine the egg whites and lemon juice and beat until frothy.
add powdered sugar gradually and mix on low until the mixture is shiny
turn mixer and beat on medium high until you get stiff glossy peaks (about 5-7 minutes)
at this point I usually divide it up and make bowls for each color.
If I need a piping consistency I use it as it is, but to flood cookies you will need to dilute it with water, a few drops at a time until it ribbons off the spoon and settles in about 10 seconds.
You need to use this within a couple of days and keep it stored in an airtight container in the fridge. (let it come to room temp before thinning or you will end up with something too watery)
Meringue Powder Royal Icing
Up until Cookie Con, this next recipe was my go to recipe for about a year....it is simple to make and lasts for up to a month on the counter or in the fridge (I find it separates less in the fridge).
I got it from one of the best cookiers around, SweetSugarBelle You can get a link to that recipe here: SweetSugarBelle's Royal Icing
However, since CookieCon I have been cheating on Sugarbelle! (and yes, I did feel a little guilty, but hey better to cheat on a recipe than on my spouse!!!!)
I have been trying recipes from some of the other equally fabuous cookiers...and here is what I found:
At CookieCon, I had so many moments of clarity in SweetAmbs class that I just HAD to try her royal icing recipe. It is well worth spending the $1.99 in her shop to get this recipe, I really love it. It seems to flow better for me, and it is the perfect piping consistency for many things right off the mixer! Here is a link to her shop where you can buy her icing tutorial which also has her cookie recipe included: SWEETAMBS ROYAL ICING, (by the way, she has alot of amazing tutorials for free and for sale, and I can honestly say they are ALL fabulous and worth every penny)
Not to be left out is Anne York and her recipe from The Flour Box Bakery. It is another great recipe and she has it on her site for just 99 cents! Anne of Flour Box approaches it a little differently when mixing than SweetAmbs or Sugarbelle....you may find it is perfect for you, I really thought it was great and again, she has some wonderful tutorials available as well! Her tips for mixing in the color are great, too.
Here is the link to: FLOURBOXBAKERYROYALICING
The bottom line here is that there are COUNTLESS royal icing recipes out there, and one of them will be a perfect fit for you!
Any of these recipes will get you off to a great start and then you can tweak them from there to suit you best.
One last thought about this post is about Meringue Powder...
Again, lots of brands to choose from, but I find some are much better than others.
I used to use Henry & Henry brand Kwik-Fluff meringue powder and I loved it, HOWEVER, the recipe seems to have changed and it just became less stable to me.
I have not used CK Meringue Powder but I hear good things about it and it is available on many sites.
And while you can pick up Wilton Meringue Powder at your local craft store, I personally don't like or use it. I think it has a funky aftertaste, but lots of folks do use it, and it is easily found locally and if you use the craft store coupons it is probably the cheapest option, so you may want to try it if you can't find the others.
As of April 2016, I have been offering my own line of meringue powder, Genie's Dream Premium Meringue Powder. I spent over a year working with different companies until I found one who would work with me on small batches of a premium meringue powder. The response has been overwhelming for both me and the small manufacturer we work with, but we are doing our best to keep up with demand! You can find my meringue powder right here on my site! We offer it in one pound tubs or in 10 pound bulk boxes. My recipe is right on the tub or box, but it will work well with just about any of the above recipes for royal icing!
I am glad we could get together today and talk icing....
I hope to talk to you again soon. In fact, I hope you will share your thoughts on Royal Icing and meringue powders so we can all be educated bakers!
From my kitchen to you,
the Creative Cookier