CHOCOLATE CRUSTING BUTTER-CREAM
1/2 cup solid high ratio shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tablespoon of meringue powder
3/4 cup cocoa or three 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares, melted
1 teaspoon clear vainilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approx. 1 lb.)
Cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add cocoa and vanilla and milk. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating on a slow speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Don't mix in high and don't over beat. If you have a Kitchen Aid Mixer, use the white attachment.
Keep bowl covered or with a damp cloth until ready to use. This icing can be stored 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Re-whip before using.
Chocolate Mocha Icing: Substitute cold brewed strong coffee for milk in Chocolate Butter-cream recipe.
Darker Chocolate Icing: Add an additional 1/4 cup cocoa (or one additional 1 oz. square unsweetened chocolate, melted) and 1 additional tablespoon milk to Chocolate Butter-cream Icing.
For Thin (Spreading) Consistency Icing: Add 3-4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.
YIELD: Makes about 3 cups.