Monday, December 10, 2007

The Icing

Thanks so much for all the lovely compliments on our cookies. As for the icing (I refuse to call it frosting), I have had this recipe since I worked as a page at the Children’s Library in Barrie.

ah... the Annex. Such fond memories... like the time that old man drove right up over the walkway in front of the library, somehow managing to miss all the support posts that held up the pergola, dropping down over the 3-foot retaining wall into the big Unistoned(TM) area in front of City Hall (is there a word for that place?) and out the other side making an easy right turn onto Collier Street without missing a beat. Good times.

Anyhow, one of the librarians had a cake business on the side (or maybe the librarianing was on the side?) Regardless, she was kind enough to share her “professional icing” recipe with me. It generally works well for me, but from time to time I’ve had issues with it, as Keith can attest. I think I’ve ironed out most of the kinks:

2/3 cup shortening
4 cups icing sugar
5 tablespoons milk (more if necessary)

Yes – shortening, not butter. "You get a whiter white icing when you use shortening rather than butter." And thankfully, now you can avoid all those nasty trans fats since shortening-makers have seen the error of their ways and eliminated them.

Blend together the shortening, 2 cups of the icing sugar and 3 tablespoons of the milk. (I use the whisk attachment on my Kitchen Aid, but regular egg beater attachments on a hand mixer work, too.) Add one more cup of icing sugar and one more tablespoon of milk and blend again. Add the last cup of icing sugar and the last tablespoon of milk and blend again. At this point, if the icing is too thick (i.e.: not easily spreadable), add another tablespoon of milk and blend. I find that if anything, it is generally too thick rather than too thin at this point… you want to be able to spread it, but keep in mind that if you add too much milk it will melt into a shapeless mass rather than retain its shape when piped. Trust me, I know.

At this point, you can separate the icing into bowls and add food colouring or cocoa powder for chocolate icing.

Oh, one last thing – the original recipe included the option of adding almond extract: somewhere between a quarter and an eighth of a teaspoon. I tried it once and promptly stopped. It adds a distinctive flavour to the icing, but I found it was a little, uh… too distinctive.

Enjoy!

1 comment:

Ro said...

Thanks for the recipe Becky. I just got a few beautiful cookie sheets that are calling for me to use them. I was thinking that this weekend would be a nice time to try them out. Now, I have a tried and true recipe to use and real pictures to convince Nolan to help me! Sorry we missed you while you were here . . .
Ro