large egg whites or 3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
cups powdered sugar
teaspoon vanilla extract or other flavoring of your choice (optional)
Food coloring (optional)
In a bowl, combine the egg whites and extract/flavor (if using) and beat until frothy using an electric mixer. Add powdered sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Turn speed up to high and beat until the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring, if desired. Thin with water to desired consistency. For immediate use, transfer icing to pastry bag or zip top plastic bag and pipe as desired. If using plastic bag, clip corner to create tip. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.