Ever December my cute Mom hosts a Gingerbread House Decorating Party for her kids and grandkids. It’s become a favorite tradition for many of us…
and especially for this cute little guy (my nephew Drew!) Love this kid. He’s got personality coming out of his eyeballs. There is just something super adorable about kids making gingerbread houses, am I right? This cutie had stars in his eyes the whole night long. 🙂
I wanted to put a post together to give some tips about making Royal Icing (aka cement for gingerbread houses and candy of all shapes and sizes). This Royal Icing really makes a difference in the construction process. It’s easy to work with and hardens nicely so that all parts stay in tact (an important feature in Gingerbread House making).
Let me show you how to make it happen!
1. Into a large mixing bowl, or stand mixer place 3 large egg whites. Whisk them on medium high speed until nice and frothy. Should take a couple of minutes.
2. Add 4 C powdered sugar, one at at time, with the mixer on low speed.
3. Add 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and turn the mixer to medium. Beat for an addition 3-5 minutes or until the frosting forms stiff peaks.
4. If you are making multiple houses (or are making the icing for many children to decorate houses) let me pass along this tip. Grab some freezer safe quart size ziploc bags. The freezer safe variety hold up much better than your average sandwich bag, which definitely work better for kids. 🙂 You’ll have fewer rips, messes and tears if you stick with the freezer bags, trust me on this one, dear reader.
Place each bag in a large mug or cup, and fold the edges over the rim.
Spoon about 3/4 cup of icing into the bottom of the bag. Try and squeeze out any air and then seal the bag. Then each little person has thier own decorating bag.
Twist the zipper side of the bag and hold it between your thumb and forefinger. Snip a little hole in the corner of each bag and vwalla! Decorate to your hearts content. It’s easier for kids to work with than trying to apply it with a knife or spoon. The royal icing turns hard and acts as a cementing agent for the graham cracker walls and all the candy decorations.
My mom always gathers up these little milk cartons for the kids to use as a base for their houses. Clever, idea indeed. She uses hot glue to attach them to paper plates.
Then the kids can use the graham crackers, royal icing and candy to decorate how they choose. We’ve tried in the past to make homemade gingerbread, but found it much easier to stick with graham crackers. 🙂
My little twin boys, who sadly aren’t so little any more. They turned 10 this past summer. I asked them kindly to please quite growing and stay little…it didn’t work, darn it!
My handsome nephew Will. Check out the chimney on his house! Dr. Suess would be proud.
We had a great time, as we do each year. 🙂
Here’s the handy printable…