1 cup Crisco shortening
1 cup butter (can use salted or unsalted) - softened
1/3 cup luke warm water
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp clear vanilla
1 tsp butter extract
2 lb. bag of powder sugar
This is best used with a Kitchen-Aide Mixer or an equivalent stand mixer.
Cream together the butter and Crisco until nice and fluffy. Speed 6 on the Kitchen Aide is quite sufficient.
Place the luke warm water in a small bowl, adding the kosher salt. Stir until dissolved. Then, add the flavorings, and stir to mix well.
Turn your mixer speed to the lowest possible setting and add in the powdered sugar slowly. Alternate back and forth with the water mixture.Keep the mixer on low until all liquid and powdered sugar are combined.
Once combined, turn the mixer up a speed level and mix well. Approximately 2-3 minutes.
At this point, you can add color accordingly, if you choose too. This yields a thin to medium icing consistency (great for frosting and borders). If you need thicker icing, simply add less water.
You can also change out the flavorings, depending on your preferences.
To frost these cupcakes, load a bag using a 2D tip from Wilton.
For the rosettes, start in the middle and gently squeeze and rotate the bag counter clockwise until you've covered the top of the cupcake.
For the hydrangeas, hold the tip slightly above the cupcake, at either a 45 or 90 degree angle, depending on the position of each petal. Give a quick squeeze while lifting off the cupcake and stop squeezing to finish the petal. This might take just a second to get the hang of, so practice on a paper towel first (It's very easy, though).