It’s happened to the best of us– we need a specific color for one simple thing– say, pink for making a few lips on Valentine’s cookies . . . and then we end up with just a squidge left of pink that we have to throw out, right?
Wrong! NEVER throw royal icing away! There are so many things you can do with it! Here are my favorite uses for leftover royal icing:
(1) Store it in small Tupperware containers, mixing like colors, if you want– it will keep for up to 2 weeks and just needs to be re-stirred and possibly watered down with a few sprays of water to be good as new. Besides . . . you save color this way and come up with unique shades.
(2) Mix all your leftover colors in a single Tupperware container (if you don’t have much, or if space is an issue), and it will become kind of a generic gray that is very nice for outlining.
(3) And this one is fun . . . ROYAL ICING TRANSFERS!
What the heck is a royal icing transfer?
I’m so very glad you asked. I will show you now.
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
First, obviously, you have a little leftover royal icing. If you didn’t have any extra, then you wouldn’t be wondering what to do with the extra, then, would you? Today, I have leftover yellow, so let’s think about what might be yellow, down the road, that you might want to use . . . how about flower centers?
Good. Now we have our idea. Now, grab your secret weapon . . . a piece of wax paper. And you thought all superheroes had capes!
Go ahead and pipe some circles about the size of a dime on your piece of wax paper. Leave plenty of room so they don’t accidentally smoosh into each other as they dry.
There now. Look at all those cutesie little yellow buttons! Don’t touch them, yet– they need to dry for at least 24 hours to be ready.
Interesting Note: Remember at the beginning of our cookie making journey I told you that you could make candy with royal icing? Well, here is how you do it! Remember those “Dots” candies you ate as a kid? They were kind of like rolls of paper with these little candy buttons on them? Yep. Those were nothing more than dots of royal icing on paper. You can make them, yourself, anytime you want. You could match them to any color for your next occasion, or even spell out the kids’ names. It’s so fun, and the kids (and even adults!) will love having candy that is personalized. You also know those candy letters and shapes for cake decorating that you can buy at the store, in the saran wrapped packages? Yep. Royal icing again. That’s why they sometimes crack when you try to peel them off the paper– peeling these works best with a slippery surface, such as wax paper.
When your transfers have dried for a full 24 hours, go ahead and gently peel them off. It actually works better to kind of roll the paper out from under them, without trying to put pressure on the transfer. When these are dry (sometimes they still have a little soft spot in the center– if that is the case, just let them dry, turned over, for another day), store them in a plastic bag indefinitely. You can see here some of the ones I’ve made– I have all kinds of circles in various colors, eyeballs, and even starfish and flip flops (which are adorable for placing on the beach cookies here
— because they give color and dimension).
These yellow transfers that we made are perfect for the centers of daisies. Remember these daisy cookie pops we made here
the other day? Well, all you have to do is flood your white daisy, and then plop one of your finished icing transfers down about 30 seconds later (after the icing sets a teeny bit), and your daisy is ready!
I haven’t tried it, yet, but sometime I’d love to make “Breakfast” cookies, and these would be perfect for my sunny side up egg centers!
There are so many things you can do with these neat little transfers. Don’t ever throw that royal icing away! Get creative and harness your inner MacGuyver. You can make something cool out of anything– if nothing else, at least practice piping with your leftover icing, and trying out all those strange tips that came with your set.
I know you’ll love it! And hey– there are always candy dots. 😉
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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