Decorating With Royal Icing

Decorating With Royal Icing

Decorating with Royal Icing is the best way to decorate gingerbread houses.

National Gingerbread House Day is on December 12th. Now is a good time to stock up on candy and gingerbread houses.

When my children when they were toddlers, I started decorating gingerbread houses with them. That’s another way of saying that I have 20 + years experience in decorating gingerbread houses. So I am passing along my tips and tested recipes. Hoping they will save you some time and money.

Here’s a great recipe for Royal Icing.

Decorating With Royal Icing

This Royal Icing is the perfect consistency for decorating gingerbread houses.

Prep Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 t. cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a wire attachment, add all of the ingredients.

  2. Beat the mixture at high speed, until it is thick and holds its shape.

  3. Trim the tip a pastry bag, add pastry tip, fill 1/2 full with Royal Icing.

    Pipe decorations onto the gingerbread houses and assemble fences and decorations.

  4. + Be careful to squeeze pastry bag from the top and not the middle!

  5. Tip: Be sure to cover the bowl with Saran Wrap or a lid because the Royal Icing will dry out! No need to refrigerate the Royal Icing.

Building With Royal Icing

Building With Royal Icing

Building with Royal Icing – the secret to building gingerbread houses is the Royal Icing. The Royal Icing recipe’s powdered sugar/egg white ratio needs to be just right!Building with Royal IcingI’m sharing 25+ years experience of decorating and planning gingerbread house parties! With these tips you will be ready to host the most spectacular holiday party!

National Gingerbread House Day is right around the corner – December 12th!

Back when my children were toddlers, we started our holiday tradition of decorating gingerbread houses. In the beginning, the gingerbread houses’ walls would not stay together. So we supported them with soup cans until the Royal Icing set. That’s when I started testing Royal Icing recipes.

After years of trial and error, I discovered the perfect Royal Icing! So without further ado, here’s my tried and true Royal Icing recipe . . .

Decorating With Royal Icing

This Royal Icing is the perfect consistency for decorating gingerbread houses.

Prep Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 t. cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a wire attachment, add all of the ingredients.

  2. Beat the mixture at high speed, until it is thick and holds its shape.

  3. Trim the tip a pastry bag, add pastry tip, fill 1/2 full with Royal Icing.

    Pipe decorations onto the gingerbread houses and assemble fences and decorations.

  4. + Be careful to squeeze pastry bag from the top and not the middle!

  5. Tip: Be sure to cover the bowl with Saran Wrap or a lid because the Royal Icing will dry out! No need to refrigerate the Royal Icing.

Practicing Gratitude

Practicing Gratitude

Practicing gratitude is powerful!

On a cold November morning, my alarm goes off at 5:00am, I’m tempted to roll over and go back to sleep. Something tells me to get out of bed.

By 6:25am, I find myself at St Rita’s for daily morning mass. I arrive just in time for Fr. Joshua’s homily.

He shares about his days of seminary. He admits, “It was hard.” One day, he thought “You moron, you should be grateful.”

Look at all of your blessings. Fr. Joshua says, “We shouldn’t be fools.” He continues, “We should have gratitude.”

Back at home, I’m sitting in my office, writing a Gingerbread House blog post. Decorating gingerbread houses is one of my favorite holiday traditions. Writing a blog post about it is hard. It’s boring. I would much rather be sewing a dress or baking a cake. My thoughts drift back to Fr. Joshua’s homily, I focus on gratitude.

I’m checking all of the blog boxes – key phrases, alt tags, pixel size, eternal links, internal links, etc. the list is long. Suddenly, I notice a GREEN LIGHT by the SEO box. I have been blogging for ten years. This is the first time to get a SEO green light.  I am so excited! I sense a connection between gratitude and this first-time accomplishment.

Practicing gratitude is powerful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Build It And They Will Come

Build It And They Will Come

Build it and they will come – just like Iowa farmer Ray(Kevin Costner) hears a mysterious voice in the cornfield saying “If you build it, he will come” in the movie, Field of Dreams. Build it(the gingerbread houses) and he(friends & family) will come to decorate and celebrate!Gingerbread houses

Weeks before the holiday party, be sure to start baking the gingerbread houses. The gingerbread dough is easy to make and they are easy to build. However, they take a little bit of time. No need to worry if the gingerbread houses will keep. They will keep for weeks, even a couple of months.

If baking the gingerbread houses seems too ambitious, buying gingerbread house kits is a great option.  Either way, be sure to bake some gingerbread chimneys. When it’s time to decorate the gingerbread houses, top off the chimneys with cotton candy for the ‘smoke!’Gingerbread House Party

National Gingerbread House Day is on December 12th. Build it and they will come!

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Gingerbread for Houses

This is a great recipe for gingerbread houses and gingerbread boys. It's easy to work with, never crumbles and the cookies turn out perfect each time!

Prep Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 T. ground cinnamon
  • 2 t. ginger
  • 2 t. cloves
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. nutmeg
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add all of the ingredients.

    Beat the ingredients until well mixed.

  2. Divide the dough in half. Flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in wax paper. Chill for 3 hours or overnight.

  3. Preheat oven to 350º.

  4. On a lightly floured Silpat® baking mat, roll out half of the dough tp 1/4" thickness. With the gingerbread house cookie cutters, cut out each section - 2 roofs, 2 sides, front, back and chimney pieces. Repeat with the remaining dough.

  5. Slide the Silpatº baking mat with the cut out house pieces directly onto a flat cookie sheet.

  6. Bake for 20 - 24 minutes until firm but not too browned.

  7. Place the cookie sheet on a wire rack for cooling. Immediately, recut with the house pieces with the cookie cutters. This provides very straight edges!

  8. After the house pieces set a bit, 4-5 minutes, remove from cookie sheet and place directly on the wire racks to cool completely.

Decorating With Lollipop Ponds

Decorating With Lollipop Ponds

Decorating with Lollipop Ponds will add color and a pop to your gingerbread houses. Your friends will LOVE them. Most likely, they will think that you worked for hours making them.

Just in case you are short on time, no worries. Decorating with Lollipop Ponds is a snap! The Lollipop Ponds may be made ahead too.

Equipment:

Check out my easy recipe for Decorating with Lollipop Ponds!

Lollipop Ponds

Easy to make and impressive decorations for your gingerbread houses!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup Karo® syrup
  • 1-2 drops Wilton® blue food color

Instructions

  1. Place a Silpat® on a cookie sheet; set aside.

  2. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan placed over medium-high heat, add the sugar, water, and Karo® syrup; cook until sugar dissolves without stirring.

  3. Cook the sugar mixture until it reaches 300º.

  4. Remove from heat; add the blue food color and swirl. It's okay to have a variation in blue color.

  5. Pour the sugar mixture on the Silpat® forming irregular pond shapes.

  6. Be careful: the sugar mixture is very HOT!

  7. Set aside; cool.