6 1/2 Tbs ( 15g ) warm water
1 tsp ( 4.4g ) vanilla
1 tsp ( 5 g) almond extract
5 C( 623.69g ) powdered sugar
5 Tbs ( 53.75g ) meringue powder
1/2 tsp ( 2.7g ) cream of tartar
Measure or scale the almond, and vanilla extract into mixing bowl along with half of the 6 1/2 Tbs of water. Add cream of tarter and meringue powder. Whisk until smooth and no lumps remain.
Add sifted powdered sugar and mix on low with paddle attachment for 10 minutes or until the icing forms a soft peak. Scrape down sides as needed. Mixing time can vary, so check consistency every 2-3 min, adjusting with the remaining 3 1/4 T (7.5g) of water. Royal icing at the soft peak consistency is used for borders and piped embellishments.
Place one cup of royal icing in a small mixing bowl. Cover the remaining royal icing with damp towel draped over the rim of the bowl. Add food dye to the one cup portion and mix by hand with a spatula. Add more food dye if needed until you have the desired color. Mix well. Place 1/3 of the icing in a pastry bag fitted with a piping tip. This will be used for borders and piped embellishments.
Add water to the remaining two thirds of the icing, a couple drops at a time, and mix well by hand. Continue to do this until icing is the desired consistency.
To test your icing, simply drag a one inch deep line through your icing with a knife. Count to ten slowly. If the icing is smooth on the surface at the ten second mark you have the right consistency. If the icing is smooth before you reach ten seconds, add a teaspoon of sifted powdered sugared repeat the test. continue with this step until the desired consistency is achieved. If the icing takes longer than ten seconds to become smooth, add a few more drops of water and repeat test. Continue with this step until desired consistency is achieved.
Pour icing into pastry bag fitted with a piping tip.
Repeat steps one and two for each color you are preparing. By working in small batches and making both your stiff and your flood out of the same batch you will ensure a color match. Royal icing also forms a skin quickly if left exposed to air. By always covering the bowls with a damp towel and working in small batches you will prevent drying. This will also keep any dried bits of frosting from getting into your pastry bag.