½cupshortening(we use Crisco, you can use butter flavored if desired)
1tspvanilla extract(or extract flavoring of choice)
4cupsconfectioners sugar(½ of a 2 lb bag)
4Tbspheavy cream(2-4 Tbsp, start with 2 Tbsp)
food coloring(if desired)
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In the bowl of your stand mixer, or a large mixing bowl, combine the shortening and vanilla extract using the whisk attachment. Beat until well combined and a creamy consistency.
Add the confectioners sugar and heavy cream in alternating amounts, starting with the first cup of confectioners sugar. Then add a drizzle of heavy cream (½ to 1 TBSP at a time), and alternate again until all of the confectioners sugar has been incorporated.
Add enough heavy cream when alternating so that your stand mixer or handheld mixer can work with the frosting as it comes together (if the frosting is too stiff, add more liquid).
The amount of liquid can vary greatly depending on your temperature and humidity (weather conditions). Use enough liquid to get a consistency that is typically thicker than store bought frosting, but that will still pipe or spread easily when applied to cookies.
*Adding food coloring is optional, and you can add whatever type of food coloring you have on hand. For best results, use gel food coloring whenever possible.
*If you want to try to substitute some butter into this frosting (which would make it a buttercream frosting), you will change the resulting texture and the ability of this frosting to 'set up' for storing!**I typically freeze our baked and decorated cookies, then stack them neatly with wax paper dividers before shipping them out to friends and family. They will thaw during transit, but it helps when paired with careful packaging!