I guess I just have to come to terms with the fact that Mondays are not good blogging days! So if I have a blog giveaway that ends on a weekend, you’ll probably need to expect the winner to be announced on a Tuesday. And that brings me to the winner…
Donna! (with kewl granny in her email address– which I love, by the way!) She said:
Your pony cookies are fabulous and the eyes on the blue bear are my favorite too. I wish I had just half of your talent.
Aww, thanks Donna! And thanks for liking my rocking horses, too. I’ve sent you an email, so just respond to that, or send us an email at contact at karenscookies dot net.
Thanks once again to all who entered! I appreciate all the great comments! A few people asked what kind of frosting I used on these. I always forget to say that! These (and all of my recent posts) were done with Meringue Powder Buttercream. I use that almost exclusively, so if I ever forget to specify which frosting I used, you can bet that it’s MPB. Since I use the others a lot less often, I’ll be sure to say when I’m using something else. The recipe is on my web site, but I should probably get it here on the blog, so here it is, with a few notations that might be helpful.
MERINGUE POWDER BUTTERCREAM
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 to 4 T. meringue powder*
- ½ cup Crisco shortening**
- 4 ½ cups powdered sugar (1 lb. 3 oz. If you have a scale)***
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (use clear vanilla if you want a pure white icing)
- ¼ tsp. almond extract
Place half of the powdered sugar and the meringue powder in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk together well. Turn on mixer (use whip attachment) and, while motor is running, slowly stream in the water. Mix until everything is incorporated. Turn mixer to high speed and whip until stiff peaks form. Add flavorings and mix well. Change to paddle attachment (for stand mixer) or dough hook (for Bosch). If using a hand mixer, use the same beaters you were using before. Add remaining powdered sugar and shortening and whip for 2-3 minutes more.
Note: Don’t skimp on the whipping time after adding the shortening. You really need to whip it well to prevent separation later.
*If egg whites are the first ingredient on your meringue powder, you can use the smaller amount. If egg whites come later in the ingredient list, or if you live in a very high humidity area, I recommend using 4 T. You can also add a tablespoon of pure dried egg whites along with your meringue powder to give it extra drying power.
**I recommend Crisco shortening, because it has the most consistent results. There are some store brands that will work, but some do not (they cause ugly separation when you thin it down for glaze), so just to be safe, I recommend only using Crisco brand. If you have an aversion to using shortening, I completely understand, and you can use butter instead– however, I have had mixed results using butter. The first few times I used butter, it worked beautifully, and then the next couple of times, it separated and didn’t dry well. I have no idea what made the difference. So anyway, if you use butter, be aware that there may be some separation issues if you thin it down for glaze, and you also might need to add a little extra powdered sugar because it’s quite a lot softer when using butter. Also, if you find you have trouble with your MPB drying, you can cut down the shortening to as much as half (so use 1/4 cup per batch) and it will help it to dry faster and more thoroughly.
***I really recommend weighing the powdered sugar if at all possible. Powdered sugar is a bugger to measure. It seems like it varies SO much. If you don’t have a scale, stir or sift your powdered sugar before measuring to make sure it’s light and fluffy.
If you do everything exactly “right”, and your frosting still comes out way too stiff or way too soft, never fear! It is a very forgiving medium! Feel free to add water to make it softer, or add powdered sugar to stiffen it up. It won’t ruin anything!