2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (Add your favorite flavoring to make it your own!)
5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar (for kneading)
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter (or veg shortening)
Dry ingredients - Place 5 cups of powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Add the meringue powder and salt. Stir to combine. If you do not have a heavy duty stand mixer that can manage a heavy dough such as fondant, you can sift these dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Wet ingredients - In a microwave-safe bowl, add the heavy cream, sprinkle the gelatin over the cream and let sit for 2 minutes. This step will allow the gelatin to begin to dissolve. Continue to dissolve the gelatin in the microwave on high for 30 seconds or more until completely dissolved. Next, add the corn syrup, glycerin, and vanilla extract to the dissolved gelatin and combine well. The mixture must still be barely warm. If the gelatin is already setting, warm it for 10 seconds more. If you plan to make one color, you may add gel food coloring at this stage. If you want to make small batches with several colors, you may do so at the kneading stage.
In the bowl of your stand mixer with the powdered sugar, make a hollow in the center and add in the liquid ingredients. Start mixing at a low speed. If you are mixing by hand, begin mixing from the center out incorporating powdered sugar as you go. If the dough remains sticky, add more powdered sugar, in small increments. It is better to add less than more at this stage. You can always add more later.
Add the butter into the mixing process. This step will help with the dough sticking to the dough hook or your hands. The fat combined with the gelatin will make it pliable and soft.
Once you have a dough formed, transfer to a flat surface or counter lightly dusted with powdered sugar and knead. If you feel the mixture is dry, grease your hands and counter with butter or vegetable shortening. If the dough is too sticky, add a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar. Be careful to add only a small amount of powdered sugar at this point as it will stiffen when the gelatin sets. You want the fondant to form a dough but not be too dry.
Divide the fondant into two portions, wrap in plastic, and place each in a zip-lock bag. Press out the air and seal well. Fondant will dry out easily, so pay special attention to this step.
Leave in the fridge overnight or at least 4 hours. To ensure a smooth, pliable product, it is important to let the fondant rest. Once set, it can be stored at room temperature.
When you are ready to use your fondant, use vegetable shortening to knead the fondant into a pliable state. If the fondant is hard or crumbly, warm it in the microwave for 10 seconds until it is soft and easy to use again. If it is too sticky, you may add powdered sugar in small increments. Gel food coloring may also be added at this stage.
Fondant can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 4 weeks at room temperature, up to 6 months in the refrigerator, and up to a year in the freezer.