This post is going to be short and sweet. (pun intended)
Whenever I try to make black or dark colored royal icing for my cookies, I end up using almost an entire container of the Wilton coloring gel to get it dark enough. Then the icing takes on a weird gel-y taste and I pretty much hate it and want to throw the cookies in the trash. I don’t actually throw them away because my husband kindly eats the rejects, but that is neither here nor there.
After many mishaps, I turned to Google to see if anyone else had (and solved) this problem, and thanks be to God I found an alternative method that looks great and tastes delicious. The blog article I found was for buttercream, but I gave it a try with royal icing for my cookies and it worked perfectly.
My new dark icing secret is cocoa powder. That’s right, chocolate saves the day again! Now I add a teaspoon of cocoa powder to my icing before adding the gel colors and it turns dark in no time. The only downside (and is it really a downside?) is that the icing has to be chocolate flavored because the cocoa powder overpowers any other flavoring you try to add to the icing.
I made some dark gray elephant cookies last night using this technique. I haven’t had much feedback from anyone else about how they taste, but I liked them a lot, and I think I’m usually the most critical of my baking.