My new favorite icing is 20 second icing. The name does not refer to the number of seconds used to make the icing but instead is the consistency needed for the icing to return to a smooth surface after running an object through it. So that wasn't the best explanation... you may just need to watch the video!
Remember these? In the past I have always decorated sugar cookies using royal icing to first pipe the design, let it dry and then flooded with thinned icing. This method works just fine but my new method using an icing that can be used to pipe and then fill all in one step!
Start with your favorite royal icing. I like this one from Wilton:
3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons warm water
Makes about 3 cups of icing.
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
Then comes the 20 second part, simply color and add water one tsp at a time until it becomes the consistency of shower gel. You can watch the video above or try this simple tip. Start with your bowl of icing, run your spatula through it, when it takes 20 seconds for the line to disappear it is ready. If it takes longer than 20 seconds you need to add more water. If you add too much water you may need more powdered sugar until it gets back to the 20-second time point.
The advantage of this icing is that you can decorate cookies without having to pipe and fill, basically a time saver.
Now for the fun part!
I pour my icing into these, one for each color, you can find them at Joann, Michaels, Hobby Lobby etc.
Start by outlining the cookies
I first outlined in yellow and then in red. As soon as the outline is done you can add more icing and fill in the sections! Hence the advantage of 20 second icing, it is thick enough to stay put but thin enough to fill the space easily.
Let these dry for at least 30 minutes. You can then go back and outline for more definition.
Add a flower center in a contrasting color
And you are done!