Recently, a reader from New Zealand asked Saucy where online she might find black or red sprinkles for her daughter's upcoming birthday party. The answer is simple... make them yourself!
Start by preparing a batch of royal icing. Saucy uses meringue powder for her hard icings, she's a little unsure of uncooked egg whites at the best of times but the powder is just so darn easy. Most powders come with their own recipe and/or measurements so you might want to look at the recipe yield and make a half batch. A half batch of royal icing netted Saucy about 3/4 cup of finished sprinkles. That's plenty!
At this point Saucy would like to offer you a tip: instead of wetting the powder and sugar mixture with straight water, try adding flavoured extract to the liquid. Your sprinkles will not only look good, they'll taste yummy. Saucy made hers a very strong vanilla flavour.
She added black food paste to the frosting after it was mixed up. Remember, professional grade food pastes and dyes deepen in colour as the frosting dries so adjust accordingly. Here, Saucy tinted her frosting a deep grey shade but it dried a perfect black.
Using the smallest tip in your collection, pipe long straight lines of the tinted frosting onto parchment paper. Just make sure your icing hasn't even the tiniest lumps that won't go through the tip, it will get a little frustrating.
When the strips of frosting are completely dried and hardened (this won't take long at all... only a few minutes) you can use a small blade to chop up the sprinkles. Saucy worked away at it and eventually decided it was tedious and she ended up picking the strips up and just breaking them into a small dish while she watched Oprah:
Don't fret about breaking them into uniform sizes, they actually look better if they're all different lengths. If you're an OCD perfectionist like Saucy, you should pick out or discard the ends of the strips (the part where you started squeezing the bag) because those can look a little curved or lumpy.
Otherwise, this is a pretty simple solution to finding just the right shade of sprinkles for your cupcakes and baking. Lime green, anyone? Hot pink?
Store your sprinkles in an airtight container. They should keep indefinitely. Amaze your friends when you say, "I made them myself."