Cream Cheese MP Icing
Tested in a humid environment
Adapted from Karen's Cookies Recipe
1/3 cup room temperature water
6 Tablespoons Meringue Powder (I use AmeriColor MP)
4 ounces regular cream cheese, room temperature (or I have used 2 ounces cream cheese and 2 ounces of vegetable shortening to get a faster crusting icing - everything needs to be room temperature)
5 1/2 to 6 cups of sifted powdered sugar (sift first, then measure), divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Lor-Ann's Cream Cheese emulsion (shake before measuring)
Place three cups of the powdered sugar and the meringue powder in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment engaged. Turn the machine on and whisk the two dry ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. With the mixer still on, slowly stream in the water. Mix until everything is incorporated, scrape down the sides if needed. Turn the mixer on high and whip until stiff peaks form. Add flavorings and mix well.
Change to paddle attachment at this point. Try to get as much off of your whisk attachment as possible. Use a rubber spatula to help with that.
Add remaining powdered sugar and the cream cheese. Whip for about 3 minutes - or until you get to flood icing thickness. Don't whip any less to prevent separation. I used this as my base. Store icing in the refrigerator with plastic wrap laying on the surface to prevent crusting (I'm guessing here - that's how I do anything that crusts).
To make piping icing, I added powdered sugar and some base together with the food color (gel colors) until it was the consistency I was seeking.