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Royal icing

Ideal for decorating, royal icing goes on smooth and dries with a nice, hard finish. Spread royal icing over your favorite sugar cookies. If you're making royal icing for children, pregnant women, or anyone with compromised immune systems, use meringue powder, found in your grocer’s baking aisle, instead of raw egg whites.

recipe

Royal icing is best for decorating cookies, since it dries to a plaster-hard finish. This recipe yields enough to cover about 100 three- to four-inch cookies. To ice all those in this story, you will need to make two batches of icing; increasing the recipe by half won't work well.

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recipe

To make the spectacular bursts, you'll need three pastry bags -- one for each color. Fit one bag with a small round tip (we used Ateco #2) and the remaining two with very small tips (such as Ateco #0).

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