This is a good cross between royal icing and decorator buttercream. The extra meringue powder causes it to dry firm, without being brittle and rock-hard like royal icing. This recipe makes 7 cups, but it can be halved.
2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons water, divided
1/4 cup meringue powder
3 pounds powdered sugar, divided
1 1/4 cups shortening
3 tablespoons clear corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons clear flavorof choice
Dissolve salt in the 3 tablespoons of water. Combine 2/3 cup water and meringue powder and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until peaks form. Add 4 cups sugar, one at a time, beating on low speed to avoid a powdered sugar snow storm in your kitchen. Add remaining sugar and water, along with shortening and corn syrup, in 3 additions, beating well after each. Add flavorings and mix until smooth.