Monday, September 3, 2012

Royal Icing Beehive

Today is Labor Day, which seems like a perfect day to pipe beehives in honor of Utah, "The Beehive State," where the motto is simply "Industry." All you'll need to pipe beehives is brown stiff consistency royal icing, tip #12, a flower nail, a Styrofoam block to rest the nail in, parchment paper squares, a glue stick, toothpicks, black food coloring like AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste in Super Black, and a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of cornstarch and powdered sugar. Start by sticking a parchment square to the nail with a dab from the glue stick. 
Hold the #12 tip at a 90 degree angle to and just above the surface.
 Squeeze out some icing, about the area of a penny. Stop pressure and pull the tip upwards, about 3 millimeters higher than its original position.
Repeat three times, depositing a slightly smaller "coin" of icing each time. When you're done with the 4th one, stop pressure and pull the tip away straight up. This shape won't look a thing like a beehive…
 …until you've touched a fingertip to the dusting pouch and lightly tapped the top down, forming a more domelike shape overall.
 When the icing has firmed up, use a toothpick and the black coloring to paint in a tiny "door" on the ground floor. These would make charming cupcake toppers for any event in the Beehive State (like Pioneer Day on July 24th), along with a swarm of royal icing bees.

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