Pros: Easy to use, safely replaces egg whites in icing recipes.
Cons: Open containers need to be refrigerated.
As Ive mentioned in several other reviews, I am a huge fan of Wilton products but sadly, this wasnt always the case. I blindly thought that all baking products were the same and often grabbed the cheapest thing off the shelf, tossed it in the cart and didnt think twice about it. When I started doing more and more baking I started getting a little more picky about the products I used. If I was going to invest my time into making cookies and pies I might as well use the best products on the market. While not everyone is a fan if Wilton, its a name that I have grown to trust over the years. About three years ago I started making iced cookies for the holidays. The first five or six batches didnt exactly look all that great but taste wise they were delicious. As time went on I discovered the wonders of Wilton Meringue Powder and never went back to the old style of making a hard icing [royal icing].
While this can be used to frost cookies and for buttercream icing, a lot of people have stated using this in meringue recipes instead of raw eggs or raw egg whites. This can cut preparation time in half and eliminate the concerns that people have about using raw eggs something that is a real concern for those who are pregnant and children, the most susceptible groups when it comes to salmonella. I like to use it for various frostings and icings for a variety of reasons its a lot cheaper than buying premade or store bought products, I can tint it to any color I want and I know that its fresh.
What Is Meringue Powder?
Basically, its powdered egg whites that have been dried. This greatly reduces the risk of salmonella and other bacteria that is often associated with the use of eggs and egg parts in food reparation. Some meringue power is just the powdered egg whites while others contain some type of sugar, starch or a gum that acts as a binder and keeps the ingredients from separating after they have been mixed together. This is why its important to read packages and instructions when using this type of powder so you know exactly what you are getting.
Meringue power is a great alternative to the old school methods of making icing however there are some recipes that specifically require the use of real egg whites, unless it says that you can use a substitute or power, its best to stick with the original recipe. With meringue power you can make a variety of icings and frostings including the one I mention most royal icing. This is the hard icing you find on top of decorated cookies, to build gingerbread houses and when making iced cookies like oatmeal and ginger snaps.
Inside each canister you will find a fold out of instructions, tips and directions for making several of the most popular icings and frostings that can be made with the Wilton Meringue Powder. While it isnt a necessity to hold on to this for dear life, it does make it easier when you want to try a new recipe or need to find out a specific of the product. The label gives you the nutrition values and a few of the basics, but the recipes are all printed on the fold out. On the leaflet youll find recipes for buttecream [soft] icing, royal icing [hard] and a semi-hard icing that forms a slight crust on the outside but remains soft and moist on the inside. All of the recipes are easy to follow and most dont require any special ingredients or cooking tools.
The biggest rule you have to keep in mind when you are working with this powder [and any frosting or icing in general] is that the utensils need to be clean and free of any grease. Just like chocolate and water grease and oil dont work well with frostings. If you can make sure your tools are free of grease you have half the battle won. Determining which type of frosting or icing would work best for your baked goods is another thing to keep in mind. You wouldnt want to frost a cake with royal icing because it dries hard which would make it pretty messy when it comes time to cut the cake.
You can purchase this in two sizes, the small 4 ounce or large 8 ounce size. I prefer to use the smaller one so I know that its always fresh. The small has a suggested retail price of $4.99 [702-6007] and the larger $7.99 [702-6015]. This might seem expensive for such a small amount of powder but you are only using 3 tablespoons for each batch of icing [royal icing]. There are other brands on the market that are less expensive but in all honesty, they just dont perform or provide the stability of the Wilton brand. If you have a Michaels in your area you can save some money by using one of their 40% or 50% off coupons that are on the front of their weekly fliers. Essentially you can pick up the eight ounce container for the price of the four ounce one. I store mine in the refrigerator after its opened and it always stays fresh and no clumps!
If you think that the prices are a little outrageous for this product take this into consideration. The large eight ounce container is enough to make 162 batches of royal icing [three tablespoons per batch]. That is a lot of icing! When you break it down you are paying .20 cents for each 3 tablespoon serving from there all you need to do is purchase the sugar and mix with water and you have royal icing. If you do the math on making your own frostings and icings over purchasing the containers at the store you end up saving a tremendous amount of money in the long run. This goes double for people who only bake a few times a month, when containers of frosting are open they have a shelf life of about 30 60 days in the refrigerator. When you make your own you dont have to feel bad about tossing out the left overs or you can get creative and make sweet treats from them [roses, fill candy molds etc].
The Bottom Line
If you have ten minutes, you can make your own frosting or icing its that simple. Some people prefer the ability to pop open a can of frosting to top off their treats other like the idea of making their own. Personally, I still purchase the premade frosting for when I am pressed for time but thats only when its a true emergency. If you do any amount of baking or are a seasonal baker, this is a product that will cut down on some of the prep time and eliminates the need for raw egg whites in recipes. Even after several years of using this product, I am constantly finding new uses for it my most recent discovery was when I was making a haunted gingerbread house and needed some small free standing ghosts. I piped out some of the royal icing and made my own instead of paying $4.00 for a pack of six. This type of product isnt for everyone but if you are looking to try your hand at making your own frostings and icings I highly suggest skipping over the less expensive products that may seem tempting and go for the Wilton Meringue Powder.
Wishing you & yours a safe Halloween
~^V^~ Freak ~^V^~
© 2003 Freak369
Wilton Cake Leveler
Wilton Color Mist