One of the downsides to blogging for over six years now is that some really great recipes and techniques get buried in the archives.  A step-by-step post describing how to decorate with royal icing was one of my earlier posts that became really popular.  But after so many years, even it has gotten buried.  This holiday season I decided to bring it back for my newer readers and update it with new photos and slightly revised instructions.

Before we get to the decorating, let me just reiterate why I am so fond of royal icing.  First and foremost, it looks beautiful and professional.  Before I knew the technique, I would see beautifully iced cookies and marvel in wonder.  Surely, I could never make something like that myself.  All these years later, I’m still excited every time I decorate with royal icing to see the finished product look so pretty and polished.  Second, the cookies keep really well.  The royal icing helps seal in the moisture of the cookie and also adds some integrity, so they hold up well when transported or even shipped (provided they are carefully packaged.)  Finally, the design possibilities are nearly endless.  I think of royal icing as a sort of edible art supply, and the cookie is the canvas.  It is so fun to be creative and see what sort of designs come to mind as you go.

I know this may seem daunting.  You look at these cookies and think you could never do it.  Trust me, if I can, anyone can.  I also just have to say that I have been thoroughly impressed seeing readers’ photos on blogs, Facebook and Instagram of their first attempts with royal icing.  Some of the first attempts I see look better than the cookies I was making after  two to three years of practice.  You guys are a talented bunch!  Alright, enough talking.  Let’s do this.