1. Arrange sugar cubes in a single layer in a 15-in. X 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Push cubes to one side; pack into pan with rolled-up foil to stabilize cubes for decorating.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, water, meringue powder and cream of tartar; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Keep unused icing covered at all times with a damp cloth.
  3. For decorating, remove 2/3 cup icing to a small bowl; add 2 tsp. water. Add a very small amount of yellow food coloring to tint icing pale ivory so it will show on white cubes. (Leave icing white if using brown cubes.)
  4. Cut a very small hole in the corner of a resealable plastic bag (photo a, above) or insert tip #2 into a pastry bag. Fill bag with icing; pipe each sugar cube with a candy cane shape (photo b).
  5. Let dry at room temperature for at least 2 hours or overnight before painting stripes on canes. (For faster drying, heat oven to 150°, turn oven off and place tray of cubes in oven for 1 hour.)
  6. For stripes, add 1/8 tsp. water to 1 tsp. icing. Add enough red food coloring to make a dark red (photo c). With paintbrush, add stripes to canes (photo d). Let stand until dry. Yield: 10-1/2 dozen.

Editor’s Note: This recipe was tested with C&H white sugar cubes and with meringue powder from Wilton Industries, Inc.

Decorated Sugar Cubes craft originally designed by Kara Cashion of Ottawa, Ontario.

Decorated Sugar Cubes photos by Country Woman Magazine.