Between taking a cake decorating class and shopping for a wedding cake, I'm learning more about icing than I ever knew before. I am a cream cheese icing snob, and insist on plain ol' boring white cake with cream cheese icing - usually purchased in a plastic tub, or mixing plain white icing (also in a tub) w/ a pack of Philadelphia cream cheese. But when you're frosting a cake for class that insists on a bit stiffer icing - one you can make flowers and (ugh) clowns with - you have to make it yourself.
The four-week intro decorating class I'm taking at Fantasy in Frosting uses the Wilton Method. The frosting recipe I was given looks a lot like this, only there's NO buttter - just Crisco and powdered sugar, and FAKE vanilla extract (since it's clear). Yuck. So I'm looking for a better recipe - that tastes good, and has the stiffer consistency you need for decorating.
I think I'll try one of these buttercream recipes, or maybe this cream cheese one. Unless you have any favorites you'd like to recommend?