This is another one of those things that “everybody knows” that I managed to get through the first fifty years of my life without knowing. I wasn’t going to mention it because “everybody knows” already but then I thought, “Hey, I didn’t know so it just might be useful to someone else.” And if not you get to laugh at me so I’m still entertaining you at least.
The funny thing is, I have never read this anywhere. I saw a reference in some recipe to “standard sugar and water icing” without it telling how to make it so I decided to experiment and figure it out for myself and now I’m rather upset with myself for not doing so years earlier because it is ridiculously simple.
I don’t have an actual recipe; I don’t know the exact measurements. Of course it will depend on how much icing you need to make. Put some powered sugar (1/3 cup? 1/2 cup?) in a small bowl then mix with water a little bit at a time until the mixture is approximately the consistency of pancake syrup. It won’t take as much water as you think it will. And that’s it. Spoon a little bit on top of each cookie as soon as you remove them from the cookie sheets and in just a few minutes it will set up and what you end up with is a nice, dry, smooth, non-sticky icing like they put on some store-bought cookies only better. Keep the icing warm and stir it once in a while so it won’t set up in the bowl.
You can fancy up that basic icing “recipe” of course. If you want to add liquid coloring or flavoring you should add that before you add all the water so the mixture won’t be too thin, but if you do get it too thin just add a little more powered sugar. Yesterday I made pink icing for Valentines Day. One time I added cinnamon and put it on my soft ginger molasses cookies. That was very good.
Alrighty then… let the praise and laughter begin.