Fun with Gingerbread, Part 2

GingerbreadSnowflakes2

Yesterday, we gave you a delicious recipe for gingerbread cookies, and assuming you haven't eaten them all, we're here to give you some tips for decorating them.  The first, which works great for smaller cookies is to dip them in a glaze, like the photo above.  To make the glaze combine 2 cups of powdered sugar, 3-4 tablespoons of half and half and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Whisk until smooth.  Dip one side of the cookies into the glaze and place on a baking sheet.  Once all the cookies are dipped, sprinkle your favorite holiday decorations on top and let dry.

GingerbreadCollage

The second way to decorate, though not as tasty, creates a beautiful, stiff icing that you can use to calk your bathtub if all else fails. To make this Royal Icing combine 3 egg whites, 1 pound of powdered sugar and any flavor you like if you intend on eating it.  Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until frothy.  Add the powdered sugar and whip on medium/high until glossy peaks form.  This icing hardens rather quickly, so place it into a piping bag right away or cover it with plastic wrap.  You can also add in any color you'd like at this point.

GingerbreadHouse5

To build our little gingerbread neighborhood (which is WAY less commitment than building a house) we cut out some basic building shapes from our gingerbread.  We also cut out some triangular support pieces that work the same way a picture frame does.  We filled a piping bag fitted with a small circle tip with our Royal Icing and piped on windows, doors and icicles.  We then used the icing as glue to attach all the pieces to a sheet of cardboard.