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Friday, July 13, 2012

Royal Icing Crab

I know, a crab is a bit of an odd choice for a cupcake topper; it almost borders on unappetizing. However, this little critter would be perfect for any beach-themed dessert, or even to commemorate the birthday of someone who is a Cancer. Start by sticking a parchment paper square to a flower nail with a dab from a glue stick. 
 Using a petal tip #104 on a bag of orange (or whatever color) stiff consistency royal icing, pipe the crab's body. While rotating the nail, lie the tip almost flat on the surface with the wide end of the tip toward you and the narrow end facing away. The narrow end will form the outer curved edge if you keep the wide end in the same place as you rotate the nail. Stop pressure and slide the tip away toward yourself when you finish piping the body.
 Pipe as many bodies as you anticipate needing. Allow them to firm up for a while (a process that can be speeded up by placing them under a desk lamp).
 Switch to a round #3 tip and pipe the eye stalks. Hold the tip against the surface and just inside the outer rounded edge at a right angle, squeeze, and pull the tip upwards a short distance. Stop pressure and pull the tip away. Touch a fingertip to a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of powdered sugar and cornstarch and nudge the stalks into place, if need be.
 Pipe the eight back legs with the #3 tip. Tuck the tip right up against the back side of the body (the straight edges) and pipe them in any way you see fit.
 Pipe the large parts of the front claws with an oval #55 tip…
 …and the small parts with the #3.
 When the icing has thoroughly firmed up, finish the eye stalks with a couple of black dots. You can use an AmeriColor Gourmet Writer, or a couple of dots of Soft Gel Paste. Now to figure out which sign of the Zodiac to tackle next…

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