When constructing a gingerbread house, my first advice is to use a glue gun to put the pieces together. But if you intend to eat the house, maybe the glue doesn’t sound appetizing. If you want to construct the house of all edible material, you will need to make up some icing for gingerbread houses, or Royal Icing.
This icing, when dry, makes a great adhesive. While I use a glue gun for the construction of my houses, I definitely use Royal icing for everything else. It covers the ugly seams, it attaches the candy, makes the snowy yard, and can be piped into lovely shapes.
Here’s the recipe I use:
3 tablespoons Meringue Powder (found at any craft store that sells Wilton supplies)
4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners’ sugar
6 tablespoons warm water
Place all ingredients into a thoroughly clean glass or metal bowl and mix on medium speed for 7-10 minutes. I love to use my Kitchenaid for this job, but a regular hand held mixer works just fine, too. You are looking for a glossy, thick consistency. This recipe makes 3 cups of icing. It’s perfect for a small project. You will need to add water (1 tsp at a time) to thin the icing if it is too thick to come out of your icing bag.
Grease is the enemy of royal icing. So make sure your bowl is meticulously clean before starting. When you’ve made the icing, make sure to cover the bowl while you are working because it will dry quickly. You don’t want any hard lumps in the icing that will clog up the decorating tip you are using.
If you like this post, take read through my other gingerbread related articles. Hopefully they will provide you with some inspiration.