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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Royal Icing Ribbon Candy

Tonight's post is, like yesterday's, short and sweet; attention to Christmas details has definitely pushed the attention I can pay to my blog to the back seat! One of my favorite candies to decorate gingerbread houses with is ribbon candy, but it always gets so unappetizingly sticky. When you live in a damp climate, ribbon candy sometimes actually comes out of the bag in one giant piece. You can pipe your own rock-hard version with royal icing that should last indefinitely. All you'll need is flat, chiseled tip #150, a flower nail, parchment paper squares, a Styrofoam block to rest the nail in, a glue stick, and a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch. Start by sticking a parchment square to the flower nail with a dab from the glue stick. 
 Hold the tip so the opening is straight up and down with one side touching the surface. Squeeze steadily while rotating the nail back and forth AND holding the nail at about a 45 degree angle; the angle is what will give the rows of loops down the sides that open, teardrop shape. As you go into piping these loops, increase your pressure slightly so the icing will fan out. All of this action is necessary, or the icing will just zigzag back and forth in a rather flat, unsatisfying way.
 Of course, you could stripe the icing in the same way you stripe icing for piping roses; put a few stripes of different colors in there! I hope you had a lovely Christmas, if that's what you were celebrating today.

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