These fanciful sugar cubes are sure to make a splash at your next holiday tea. They're sweet additions to your table and also fabulous gifts.—Kara Cashion, Ottawa, Ontario
- 1 package (16 ounces) sugar cubes
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons water
- 4-1/2 teaspoons meringue powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2-1/8 teaspoons water, divided
- Yellow and red paste food coloring
- Very small new paintbrush
- Arrange cubes in a single layer in a 15-in. X 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Push cubes to one side; pack into pan with rolled-up foil to stabilize cubes for decorating.
- In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, water, meringue powder and cream of tartar; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Keep unused icing covered at all times with a damp cloth.
- For decorating, remove 2/3 cup icing to a small bowl; add 2 teaspoons water. Add a very small amount of yellow food coloring to tint icing pale ivory so it will show on white cubes. (Leave icing white if using brown cubes.)
- Cut a very small hole in the corner of a resealable plastic bag or insert tip #2 into a pastry bag. Fill bag with icing; pipe each sugar cube with a candy cane shape.
- Let dry at room temperature for at least 2 hours or overnight before painting stripes on canes. (For faster drying, heat oven to 150°, turn oven off and place tray of cubes in oven for 1 hour.)
- For stripes, add 1/8 teaspoon water to 1 teaspoon icing. Add enough red food coloring to make a dark red. With paintbrush, add stripes to canes. Let stand until dry. Yield: 10-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Candy Cane Sugar Cubes in Country Woman December/January 2011, p25
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