Friday, March 3, 2017

Simple Decorating Icing

March kicks off a massive round of birthday parties around here. My grandmother's is first - and while the day itself is in February we usually celebrate it alongside my Mom's a month later in mid-March. My dad and his girlfriend's birthdays chase right after that, followed a week later by mine and finally my sister's eight days later. Factor in Easter, my uncle and my cousin's birthdays in the same 30 day window and you can see why by May I feel like a (very poor) walking cloud of sugar, chocolate and flour! 

While my mom's cake is in the works as we speak (it's a multi-day preparation with vanilla bean frosting, chocolate decorations and a multi-layered buttermilk sponge), my sister also got her baking game on this past weekend for a fundraiser at her work. Apparently, many veterinary  offices around the country celebrate "cupcake day", where employees bake and sell cupcakes to raise money for local animal shelters. Being a lover of all things furry, it was hard for her to choose something to put on her cupcakes, but seeing as we have 10 (adorable) rats at home I think she was well advised to choose one of them as her model. Originally, for simplicity's sake, she was going to rely on tubes of decorator icing, but a scouring of four local groceries yielded no white. Finally, I offered to whip her up a batch of mine - not only is it pure white, but lightning-fast to make, perfect for piping and (IMHO) better tasting, even when left unadorned. Of course, feel free to add flavouring or colouring as needed!

Frosting made, the cupcakes below were soon whipped up and decorated without a hitch. I think they looked great - how about you?

Simple Decorating Icing
Makes ~ 1 cup, 32 (1/2 tbsp) servings
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
pinch sea salt
1 1/2 tbsp warm water or flavoured liquor (note: if making chocolate frosting, use coffee for a lift)

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat with electric beaters for 1 minute on low speed.
  2. Increase speed to medium and beat 3 minutes, scraping sides of bowl.
  3. Use immediately or wrap tightly (press cling wrap onto the surface, then wrap) and store at room temperature up to 1 week or freeze up to 2 months.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 29.3
Total Fat: 1.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 4.9 mg
Total Carbs: 4.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
Protein: 0.0 g

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