Adapted from bon appetit recipe by Shilpa Usokovic
*Ingredients currently available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market
Makes about 2 cups
¼ cup meringue powder or 3 large egg whites*
½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt
1 1-lb. box powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract, preferably clear
- Beat ¼ cup meringue powder, ½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt, and ⅓ cup room-temperature water in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until combined and foamy, about 1 minute. (If using 3 large egg whites in place of the meringue powder, omit the water). Add one 1-lb. box powdered sugar, sifted, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract, preferably clear, and beat on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium and continue to beat icing until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
Do ahead: Icing can be made 2 days ahead. Transfer to an airtight container and cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface. Cover with lid and chill. Bring to room temperature and stir well before using.
To tint icing: Add ⅛ tsp. liquid food coloring per 1 cup icing and stir with a rubber spatula to combine. Stir in more food coloring in ⅛-tsp. increments until desired intensity is achieved. If using gel food coloring, start with half the amount and add from there.
To use as flood icing: Add 2½ tsp. water per 1 cup icing and stir with a rubber spatula to combine. Use a squeeze bottle, pastry bag fitted with a small round tip, or small spoon to fill in cookies. Pop any air bubbles on the surface with a tester or skewer or toothpick.