1 cup shortening, white not butter flavored
1 pound (4 cups) powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk or water
1 tsp each butter extract* and caramel extract**
With your blender or stand mixer, blend shortening, milk or water, dash salt, and extracts until smooth and creamy. I recommend milk because it cuts some of the sweetness, as does the salt. Just watch your experation date! When smooth, sift in the powdered sugar. This helps prevent lumps that clog up your decorating tips. Beat on medium for a minute or two, until mixed in well. Then I like to whip on high for another minute or two. This helps lighten the texture so it doesn't cake onto the cake surface and it spreads easier. So you don't end up being able to peel it off the cake.
This makes 3 cups of stiff icing. Use this for roses or other flowers with stiff petals.
To thin out the consistency, add 1 tsp per cup or 1 tbsp per whole batch to make medium. Use medium for borders and drop flowers. Or add 2 tsp per cup or 2 Tbsp liquid per batch for thin. Use thin for icing the cakes, and for writing. This is in addition to the liquid already in the frosting.
*any butter extract will do, I use Watkins because I can get it in large bottles.
** I also use Watkins Caramel Extract. I get it here. You could use any extract instead. Lemon, almond, rum. Whatever strikes your fancy! Please note the caramel is a very dark extract and will not result in a pure white frosting. You can use Wilton whitener if desired, or just use plain clear vanilla.