Tonight is a tribute to one of my favorite Christmas rituals: stuffing Christmas stockings. Everyone from my kid to my cat gets a stocking on Christmas morning. Here's what you'll need: stiff consistency royal icing in any colors you like, a tip #12 for each color (or be prepared to do some washing), a flower nail, a glue stick, parchment paper squares, a Styrofoam block to rest the nail in, and a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch.
Hold the #12 tip just above and at a right angle to the surface. In one motion, pipe a shape like a slightly curvy "L", then reverse the direction when you reach the "toe" and continue back up to the top where you started.
Touch a fingertip to the dusting pouch and tap the icing flat and smooth.
Pipe the cuff in a similar fashion; the basic shape is a zero lying on its side. You don't have to pipe the icing as smooth with the cuff; if you pulse the pressure as you pipe you can give the surface a lumpy, "furry" appearance. I sprinkled on some extra powdered sugar; it looks sort of snowy. Alternately, you can switch to a small round tip like a #2 and pipe many short peaks of icing for fur; I may give this a try after the white icing firms up more. You can, of course, decorate the stocking any way you like with edible glitter, pearl dust, stitching, tiny holly leaves, etc. In any event, it makes a cute cupcake topper or decoration for a gingerbread house or cookie.
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