Royal Icing Snowflakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum
Everyone loves to nibble on these delights!
Rose: "They take hours to make, but the results are pure magic and provide the most exquisite Christmas tree and wreath decorations. The snowflakes can also be made as permanent ornaments with an inedible substance."
Rose Beranbaum herself uses weight measurements for her baking, but she also provides volume measurements in pounds/ounces as well as in grams. I recall her dire warning in the Cake Bible: do not mix and match measures - pick one and stick to it throughout the recipe. :-)
3large egg whites - 1/4 liquid cup (or 3 ounces or 90 grams)
4 cpowdered sugar, lightly spooned into the cup (or 1 pound or 460 grams)
2large egg whites - 1/4 liquid cup (or 2 ounces or 60 grams)
1/2 ccoarse sugar crystals (or 3.5 ounces or 100 grams)
·- 4 inch snowflake templates. she provides these in the cookbook, but you'll have to draw your own.
·- parchment paper
·- reclosable gallon size freezer bag or pastry bag, fitted with a coupler and number 8 (3/8 inch diameter) decorating tube
·- small, clean paintbrush
PIPE THE SNOWFLAKES AT LEAST 24 HOURS BEFORE REMOVING THEM FROM THE PARCHMENT
How to Make Royal Icing Snowflakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum
- In a large mixing bowl, place the egg whites and sugar and beat, preferably with the whisk beater, at low speed, until the sugar is moistened. Beat at high speed until very glossy and stiff peaks form when the beater is lifted (5 to 7 minutes). the tips of the peaks should curve slightly. If necessary, more powdered sugar may be added. Keeps 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. Rebeat slightly.
TO MAKE YOUR ROYAL ICING USING MERINGUE POWDER INSTEAD OF EGG WHITES AS DIRECTED ABOVE: Replace the egg whites with 3 tablespoons of meringue powder and 3 fluid ounces (or 6 tablespoons) of warm water; this is approximately the amount of water contained in the eggs. Proceed as for basic Royal Icing. Keeps 2 weeks in an airtight container at room temperature. Rebeat slightly.
- Scrape the icing immediately into the prepared decorating bag and close tightly so that the icing does not dry. When not piping, keep the tip covered at all times with a damp towel.
Place the templates on a counter and place round pieces of parchment paper (about 6" in diameter) on top of them. Tape them to the counter in a few places so that they do not slip while you are piping the snowflakes.
Follow the outline of each template. First pipe the long 'legs' of the flake, starting at the outside perimeter and stopping at the center. Use the the paintbrush, dipped in water, to smooth and irregularities in the icing. Remove the tape and slip out the template to use for other snowflakes.
- When all the snowflakes are piped, brush one at a time with the beaten egg whites and sprinkle each immediately with about 1 teaspoon of the crystal sugar. Allow the snowflakes to dry for at least 24 hours before removing them from the parchment.
- TO REMOVE THE SNOWFLAKES FROM THE PARCHMENT: Hold the snowflakes on a flat counter, allowing small sections to extend over the edge. Support the snowflake with a broad spatula while you pull the parchment down and away from the extended section. A VERY THIN spatula or pancake turner also works if carefully slipped under the snowflake.
- STORE: in an airtight container, between sheets of wax paper, at room temperature and low humidity. Keeps indefinitely at low humidity.