Royal Icing

8 oz. (weight) powdered sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder or 1/8 cup pasteurized egg whites
3 teaspoons water
food coloring (optional)

Combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder or egg whites in a mixing bowl and add water drop by drop while beating on low speed. The amount of water you will need depends on whether you used the powder or the egg whites, and on the temperature and humidity in your kitchen. So add the water slowly and do not let the mixture get runny. Beat the mixture until it holds a trail on the surface for five seconds when you raise the mixer from the bowl. If you like, you can tint the icing with a few drops of food coloring. Makes 3 cups.

Note: Don’t use raw egg whites as they may carry Salmonella. Purchase a small carton of pasturized eggs whites from the refrigerator section of a grocery store or use meringue powder.