I'm following a fast-setting royal icing (RI) recipe. First time was great! Last three were disasters. It's shiny and opaque, so I thought I didn't clean well enough. Today, the fourth attempt, it won't mix past a four-second consistency. I've followed the recipe to a tee. Setting timers and everything. It's heavy to stir, not like you'd expect a four-second constency to be. I have researched here and followed cleaning instructions. Have carefully washed all utensils, and today used a RI mixer-only that I cleaned prior to use. I got a mixer, bowl, beaters, etc. to use strictly for RI. I cleaned in a clean sink with fresh sponges. I switched to this mixer today and it turned out identical to the last two. It doesn't set and I have no idea what's wrong. Is it possible for meringue powder (MP) to go bad? The first batch was not CK. I ordered CK off Amazon and used it for the last three attempts. I usually use MP from a local decorating store. I drizzle a bit on a RI-only silicone mat or parchment paper to see how it sets up. It doesn't. I'm stumped!
I included a photo of a cookie out of the last attempt. Two days later, and the pen sank in with minimal pressure. The batch in the bowl I just made . . . I don't have two to four days for it to set up.
Thanks for any help!