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IMG_2408For my daughter’s birthday party I made Kitty Cat Cupcakes. The eyes are made with chocolate chips, the nose is made with a chocolate candy lentil, and I made the ears and bows with royal icing.

I had been debating various ways to make ears and bows when my friend Lisa told me about royal icing. She said royal icing is incredibly hard when it dries. You can find a multitude of recipes for royal icing (I used one in The Joy of Cooking), but they all pretty much call for egg white and confectioner’s sugar beaten together. While beating, add in a few drops of food coloring if needed. (I didn’t add any coloring for the ears, as the cats would be white, but a few drops of red food coloring gave me a gorgeous pink for the bows.) Use a spatula to get the icing into a small zip top bag. Cut a hole in one corner, and pipe the icing into the desired shape onto waxed paper. Let dry completely, and peel off.

A tip for piping icing in general: When you write with a pen and paper, you generally bend your hand at the wrist. When writing or piping with icing, try to avoid doing that. Keep your hand, wrist, and arm in one straight line, and move the whole thing (with out bending the wrist) as you form words or designs.