Sunday, November 25, 2012

Royal Icing Candy Cane

Perhaps you're wondering, why pipe candy canes? It's easy enough to buy them by the dozen ANYWHERE (during December, anyway). However, candy canes have an annoying knack of becoming sticky and gummy in short order as a decoration on gingerbread houses (in humid climates, anyway), and their flavor isn't always appropriate if you use them to decorate cupcakes. All you'll need to pipe candy canes are two round #8 tips, stiff consistency royal icing in red and white, parchment paper squares, a flower nail, 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. Alternately, you can tape a sheet of parchment paper to a baking sheet, especially if you're piping canes on a larger scale. 
 Start by piping a small "S." Hold the tip at about a 45 degree angle.
 The next few photos just show the process repeating…
 …and repeating…
 …and repeating.
 You'll need to alter the shape a bit as you curve the cane over to one side or the other.
 The shape you pipe, though, is still essentially going to be an "S."
 Here it is, almost done…
 …and here it is completed, finished off with a dab of contrasting color at both ends. Touch a fingertip to the dusting pouch to tap down any peaks of icing that remain. You could use this technique to pipe all sorts of candy cane-striped things; wreaths, hearts, straight sticks for fence posts for a gingerbread house, etc.

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