Dissolve the pinch of salt in 2-3 teaspoons of milk or water.
Cream together shortening and flavorings.
Add about half of the confectioners' sugar and the salt mixture. Mix at low speed until combined.
Add the rest of the confectioners' sugar and enough milk or water until icing is a stiff consistency, still mixing on a low speed.
The directions here differ from the directions on the Wilton website and the Course 1 Student Guide so that you don't add too much liquid and cause your icing to be too thin. This also keeps you from over-beating your icing and adding air bubbles causing it to look dry.
Can use milk, cream, half n half, or whatever you have in your refrigerator. Using milk with fat in it will help your icing have a creamy texture.
Also adding an extra tablespoon or so of shortening will help your icing have a creamy texture.
Wilton Flavors may be used in any combination to suit your taste.
In case of egg allergies, meringue powder may be eliminated.
To make Chocolate Buttercream
Add 3/4 cup cocoa or three 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares, melted, and an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons water to recipe. Mix until well blended.