After I discovered Teeny Tiny Bakery on instagram I became a little obsessed with the idea of using royal icing. It's something that seems really difficult to try and I've always been intimidated by it. After watching a bunch of her instagram videos I decided I can do it. I really can. Mind over matter.
Hubby ventured out on a Saturday in December (yikes) to find meringue powder and finally found it at the Bulk Barn (they also have almond flour if you want to bake macarons someday). So I followed this recipe to the letter and was surprised there is no butter in royal icing! If you're not a big baker and aren't familiar with it, royal icing is a special icing that hardens on the cookie so you can stack cookies on top of each other. It requires either egg whites or meringue powder (much easier), water, and icing sugar. It has to be the correct consistency to spread on your cookie without being a gigantic mess. I found the proportions in this recipe were just right.
My mom has a shortbread cookie recipe I always use and I wanted to try something different so I made these sugar cookies. They required a whopping load of butter. I tried not to think about it. And as expected they were really delicious. Way more delicious than shortbread cookies. Although for this purpose I didn't like that they puffed up in the oven and lost a little bit of their shape.
A friend and I spent the afternoon decorating! These were my best ones and they turned out much better than I expected! It was both more and less difficult than I pictured. Straight lines were more difficult than I thought but getting the right consistency was easier than expected. I'm excited to try these again someday soon (Valentine's Day anyone?) with hopefully even better results. And if you like baking (or even art!) check out Teeny Tiny Bakery on instagram. It is literally amazing. But have hope you can do it too!! I mean, have realistic expectations...(ha!)...but you might be better than you think!