Sweet Hope Icing has all the versatility of royal icing with a more tender, sweet bite and dries with a soft shine. Use Sweet Hope Icing for decorating cookies, creating icing transfers, and making homemade sprinkles and icing magic.
Mix the meringue powder into the powered sugar until thoroughly incorporated. Sifting is not required.
At the lowest setting of your mixer, using the paddle attachment, add in the combined water and flavorings. Depending on your preference you can increase the vanilla to 2 teaspoons or add in an additional teaspoon of another flavoring such as a lemon emulsion. Once the ingredients are full combined, turn the mixer to medium, whipping the icing just until it becomes fluffy and holds a firm peak.
Move the royal icing into another bowl and then cover the top of the bowl with a slightly damp kitchen towel. There's no need to clean the bowl and paddle attachment between making the two icings.
Sweet Glaze Icing
Add all the ingredients to the bowl in the order listed so that the powdered sugar is on the bottom of the bowl. As with the royal, depending on your preference you can increase the vanilla to 2 teaspoons or add in an additional teaspoon of another flavoring such as a lemon emulsion.
Beat at low speed with the paddle attachment until ingredients are combined and then turn the speed up to medium, beating until the glaze is well blended and smooth like thick honey. (2-3 minutes). Be sure to stop half way through mixing to incorporate any powdered sugar remaining in the bottom of the bowl.
Sweet Hope Icing
Add the royal icing back into the mixing bowl containing the glaze.
Whip at low speed for 30 seconds. Use a spatula to scrap down the sides and the bottom of the bowl.
Whip at low speed for another 30-60 seconds or until you can see that the two icings have become one beautiful bowl of thick fluffy magic.
Preheat oven to 365 F. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugars together in another bowl. To avoid incorporating air into the dough which increases cookie spread, beat the butter and sugars just until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Add in half the flour-cocoa mixture and mix just until the flour settles and then add in the remaining flour mixture, beating no longer than it takes to fully incorporate the ingredients.
On a lightly floured surface roll the dough to your desired thickness and then cut your cookie shapes, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, and slip the sheet onto the middle rack of heated oven. The baking time will vary between 8-15 minutes depending on the thickness and size of the cookies.
Using brown sugar creates a more dense cookie with a deeper flavor. I tend to use brown sugar with more adult flavorings like nuts, brown butter, or liquor. Try replacing that second 3/4 cup of sugar with powdered, light brown, dark brown, turbinado, muscavado or any variation of sugar that rings your bell. Or just use all white granulated. Every variety will make small changes to the taste and mouth feel (texture) of the cookie.
I prefer using a half and half mix of Hershey's Regular Unsweetened Cocoa and Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa. The Special Dark deepens the color of the cookie while the Regular Cocoa provides the lighter sweet cocoa flavor.