Every year, Isabel and I skip to the "Bulk Barn" to load up on our favourite candies to decorate our annual gingerbread house...this has been a tradition since she was tiny and it just wouldn't be Christmas without it...now, some of you are thinking that you would recognize that gingerbread "kit" anywhere and yes, it's a kit...not very "Rustic" of me, but throw me a bone here, I make the royal icing for it!!
To make this "mortar-like" icing, you will need icing sugar, meringue powder (found in the spice section of a bulk store), almond extract and luke warm water. This icing really is like mortar and you could likely caulk around your windows with it for the winter!
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl using hand beaters), add 4 cups of icing sugar,
3 Tbsps. of meringue powder,
a 1/2 cup of luke warm water
...and a 1/2 Tsp. of pure almond extract.
Using the whip attachment of your stand mixer, beat on high until stiff peaks form...you may need to taste it because it is damn good...sugary, but delish!!
Using a rubber spatula, scrape into a piping bag ( I find it handy to fit your piping bag into a tall glass...it keeps the bag open as you fill it with the icing)...
Next, hand the piping bag full of royal icing to your child and let them go nuts with icing, candy and gingerbread...*note, children may be wired on gingerbread making nights!
Easy Royal Icing
4 cups of icing sugar
3 Tbsps. of meringue powder
1/2 cup of luke warm water
1/2 Tsp. of pure almond extract
In the bowl of a stand mixer (with the whip attachment), combine the icing sugar, meringue powder, water and almond extract...beat on high speed until stiff peaks form...the icing will triple in volume at this point. Scrape into a piping bag and use to decorate gingerbread houses and cookies. Makes about 5-6 cups. Enjoy! :)