Here are a couple of good, basic royal icing recipes. The recipe I use most often and prefer comes from the book, Pretty Party Cakes: Sweet and Stylish Cakes and Cookies for All Occasions by Peggy Porschen.
If you'd like to flavor your icing (vanilla, lemon, almond), add 1/2 tsp. flavored extract per 3 cups of icing.
This smooth, hard-drying icing is perfect for making decorations that last. It is also useful as a "cement" to fasten decorations together. Royal icing is edible, but not recommended for icing cakes.
* 3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
* 4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
* 6 tablespoons warm water
Makes: About 3 cups of icing.
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
NOTE: Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.
* For stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.
**When using large countertop mixer or for stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.
Thinned Royal Icing: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Use grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency.
Makes about 1 cup
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
* 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon meringue powder
* 2 tablespoons water
1. Combine ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until well combined. For a thinner consistency, usually used for flooding, add more water. A thicker consistency is generally used for further embellishing. Mix until icing holds a ribbon-like trail on the surface for five seconds when you raise the paddle.