Let’s get this out of the way up front. The bourbon is out, again. It’s Christmas, it happens, embrace it. Also, for someone who doesn’t really eat sugar, there have been an enormous number of desserts making an appearance here – and I haven’t posted a single savory recipe in ages. We’ll get there, one day. But for now – Sugar.And.Bourbon masquerading as Eggnog Royal Icing.
Now I don’t generally decorate Gingerbread Cookies. When we were younger they got slathered with icing and all sorts of embellishments. Most of these ‘masterpieces’ even made it to the tree as decorations – mainly because the ones for the tree were over-baked to make them hard and therefore not worth eating anyway – ha! In recent times they may get a quick glaze of lemon juice with a touch of icing sugar and a sprinkle of coloured sugar crystals, they may not – I’m never particularly fussed about it because I really like Gingerbread on its own.
But, when I decided to do Gingerbread this year the snowflake shaped cookie cutters called out for a bit of bling. And the pomegranate seeds had to be stuck down with something after all! In the absence of proper Eggnog to dunk the cookies in, the next best thing was Eggnog Royal Icing.
Believe it or not, I’m not going to give you a recipe for Royal Icing – there are many people that do it better and [at least] three different ways to make it. I will however give you some links so you can choose for yourself. The important bit here is the tarting up of the Icing, and that is most definitely below!
Without a doubt this would be just as good on sugar cookies or shortbread or any other cut-out that needs to be decorated. Have fun!
Eggnog Royal Icing
- 1 batch Royal Icing
1/2 – 1 tsp nutmeg [to taste]
1 – 2 tsp bourbon [to taste]
Make Royal Icing (See links to recipes in COOK’S NOTES below).
When icing is glossy and at stiff-peak stage, beat in nutmeg and bourbon until just combined.
Pipe or spread onto cookies and allow to set. If you are feeling fancy, decorate with pomegranate seeds while icing is still soft.
- The basic recipe for Royal Icing is 3 egg whites to 1 lb [1/2 kg, approx 4 c] icing sugar. I only made a third of a batch because I didn’t need a whole lot for the snowflakes. Now for the recipe options…
- Royal Icing with Meringue Powder – Bridget from Bake at 350 is the cookie queen, and this is her go-to Royal Icing recipe. It uses Meringue Powder which contains Powdered Egg Whites and a whole bunch of other stuff. If you have Meringue Powder on hand, go for it, if not, you may want to move to the next option. This recipe is worth taking a peek at anyway for her detailed instructions and hints. I do tend to add a bit of corn syrup to mine per her recommendation. In Australia you can find imported Meringue Powder at cake decorating stores but it is quite expensive and comes in pretty large quantities. It may be the same thing they sell in the ‘Pavlova Egg’, but don’t hold me to it.
- Royal Icing with powdered Egg Whites – Powdered Egg Whites are just that, egg whites that have been spray dried into a powder. The are re-constituted with water, are convenient and can be stored in the pantry. Although available commercially in large quantities you cannot get them at a retail level in Australia, well not unless you want to buy them directly from me [if you do, feel free to drop me an email]. In America-land most grocery stores will probably stock them.
- Royal Icing with raw Egg Whites – Royal Icing has been made with raw egg whites for years. This version uses ‘pasteurized egg whites’ which is most definitely an America-land thing. Use regular egg whites if you please.
vegetarian // gluten-free // dairy-free // soy-free // nut-free