I'm surprised this gets rated quite so highly. I wouldn't say that it tastes just like the grocery store icing, but I would say that it gets close. I don't think it gets quite as sweet as the store icing, which you would think might be a good thing, but then to me it tastes like eating shortening (kind of bland). My family did like it, though. However, it does turn out extremely light and fluffy, and it's easy to work with. Also, if you add as much vanilla as suggested, it will not be a pure white. A suggestion I'd make is to first whip the shortening, butter and some of the sugar before adding the water and vanilla. Otherwise the oils are too firm for the liquid to incorporate right away, and the water and vanilla end up splattering everywhere.
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I'm surprised this gets rated quite so highly. I wouldn't say that it tastes just like the...