Strong gingerbread house needs a sturdy cement
Royal icing is the glue that will hold your house together. This recipe uses safe-to-eat dried egg whites, which are sold in the baking aisle as meringue powder. The icing will keep for three to four days, at room temperature, covered tightly. If the icing has been stored overnight, or looks as though it has softened, beat it again for the full time (7 to 10 minutes) before using. As you work with royal icing, keep the bowl covered with plastic or damp paper towels.
Start to finish: 15 minutes
Makes enough for 1 house
2 pounds (8 cups) powdered sugar
4 tablespoons dried white eggs or meringue powder
3/4 cup water, room temperature
In a large mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar and dried egg whites. Use an electric mixer to beat on low while slowly pouring in the water. Mix until combined.Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the icing forms stiff peaks, about 7 to 10 minutes. If the peaks are not stiff enough, curve or sag heavily, add more powdered sugar and continue to beat until stiff.
(Recipe from Christina Banner’s “How to Build a Gingerbread House,” Penny Publishing, 2008)