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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Icing For Cookies

    Hi, I live in India and make cookies for my kids very often. Could you give me an easy icing recipe for the cookies. Also how long do cookies last? Thank you.

    From the nigella team:

    The easiest icing for cookies is a royal icing. This is a mixture of icing (confectioners') sugar, egg white and water. You can also add lemon juice for a brighter white and a sharper flavour. Royal icing is useful as it sets firmly and once it has dried you can stack the cookies in airtight containers without smudging or squishing the icing. It is also easy to colour.

    If the cookies are for children then we recommend that you use dried egg white powder or meringue powder or a special royal icing mix as the egg white will have been pasteurized. You could also use pasteurized egg white from a carton. For every 450g/1lb/4 1/2 cups of icing sugar you need 1 egg white (or powder equivalent) and a little warm water or lemon juice. If using powdered egg white then mix the sugar and egg white together and add about 2 teaspooons water. Mix together and keep adding water a couple of drops at a time until you get the consistency you want. If using fresh or carton egg white then whisk the white until frothy then mix in the sugar and add water a couple of drops at a time to get the correct consistency. Make a thicker icing for drizzling or piping and a thinner icing for pouring or dipping.

    If you want to add food colour then add it while the icing is still slightly stiff as the colour may make the icing slightly looser. You can always add extra water afterwards if necessary.

    The storing time for cookies will vary according to the type of cookie. Fatter, soft cookies will keep for about 5 days. Thin crisp cookies, such as gingersnaps, will keep for about 2 weeks. Cookies should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

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