The trick to royal icing is the consistency. If it is too thick, it will break when piping. If it is too thin, it will run. The amount of water you need to add to get the right consistency will vary with the humidity and temperature of your kitchen. Use gel food, coloring such as Wilton, so that the color does not water down your icing. Royal icing crusts quickly, so cover your bowls of icing with damp paper towels. Ingredients 4 tablespoons meringue powder ½ teaspoon cream of tartar M cup water 8 cups (approximately 2 pounds) powdered sugar
Gel food color (if tinting icing) Directions
In a mixing bowl, combine meringue powder, cream of tartar and water. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add powdered sugar to meringue. Beat on low speed until ingredients are incorporated, then mix on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add additional water as needed to achieve piping or flooding consistency. Separate icing into smaller bowls to tint different colors using gel food coloring. Fill pastry bags outfitted with piping tips (typically size 2 or 3).
Yields 4¾ cups.