The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.
So the September challenge – not my favorite by far and what should have been the easiest was the most frustrating. I loved the sugar cookie part. It was so easy and baked perfectly and tasted divine, and then came the icing.
I was trying to stick to the original as closely as possible and I should have known better. My first attempt with royal icing was a disaster and this wasn’t much of an improvement. My first mistake came in beating the icing too long. The recipe never stated how long to mix so I was watching a football game and ended up with a really nice meringue. I thinned out all of the icing to the point of and outlining consistinency and added my colors (which didn’t turn out as nicely as they would have in buttercream icing). I outlined all of my cookies successfully and set about thinning my icing. I could never get the colors to match which isn’t huge but it is annoying. I then flooded my cookies and spread the icing out. So far I am thinking I might be ok. The icing starts to crust ever so slightly and I go to bed since everyone seems to think it takes 24 – 48 hours for the stuff to dry. In the middle of the nigth I woke up to a nasty storm (I’m not upset about the rain per se since we needed some, but the humidity), apparently the humidity inside of our house rose a little and the icing just softened right back up and became a nasty sticky mess. And after all of that the royal icing tastes disgusting and my perfectly good buttery sugar cookies are ruined.
So all of that to say I am retiring all royal icing recipes until I there is no more humidity in my life. Oh and next time I’ll just bite the bullet and put the extra money and effort into using fondant with tastes better and looks better too.