For the gingerbread house "glue" Royal Icing (makes scant 3 cups):
- 16 oz powdered sugar
- 3 Tbl meringue powder, such as Wilton brand
- 4-6 Tbl cold water
For the soft, cookie decorating Royal Icing (makes 4 cups):
- 18oz powdered sugar
- 2 1/2 Tbl meringue powder
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 3 oz warm water
- 1 tsp vanilla
Have all powdered sugar measured out and ready to go before beginning these recipes. Use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for best results.
For the gingerbread house "glue" Royal Icing follow these instructions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the powdered sugar and meringue powder. Slowly add water 1-2 tablespoons at a time. Mine was perfect at 6 Tbl, but the amount of water will depend on your desired consistency. Icing should be very thick and should leave a clean path when you drag a spoon through it.
Fill a large piping bags or plastic zip top bag with the corner snipped off with the icing glue. Assemble gingerbread pieces and decorate as desired. This icing will dry very hard and keep gingerbread houses from crumbling.
For the soft, cookie decorating Royal Icing follow these instructions:
In the bowl of the stand mixer, whisk BY HAND the meringue powder and warm water until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and whisk again.
Place bowl onto the stand mixer and add all the powdered sugar at once. Turn on mixer to the lowest stir setting and mix for 9 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add vanilla and mix for one additional minute. Icing will be very thick.
If you plan to use multiple colors, divide icing into different bowls. To each bowl add small amounts of food color and mix thoroughly until the desired color is achieved. Slowly add water to thin the consistency 1/2 tsp at a time, mixing well in between additions of water. Consistency can change quickly so add just a little water at a time until the icing leaves a "disappearing trail" in the bowl when you drag a spoon through it.
Fill piping bags or plastic zip top bags with the corner snipped off with the icing. Decorate cookies as desired.
Adapted from Kids Activities and Z Design