My daughters youth group at church had their Christmas party last week. They wanted to decorate ginger bread houses, which sounded like fun to me as well. With a bunch of 8-12 year old girls and not a lot of time, I was not sure that traditional ginger bread and the girls putting them together themselves was going to work.
I decided to use graham crackers and just hot glue them together before I even got there. Obviously, you would not want to eat these with the hot glue on them, but royal icing doesn’t taste good anyway.
I recruited help and we got 16 done in about 45 minutes. I put them on a rimmed cookie sheet and covered it with saran wrap to get them to church in one piece.
Once at the party, I had bought a bunch of really cute platters from Dollar Tree (for $1 each) that they could take home and build their houses on. I set them out and on the table with the houses on and ready to go. You could use the royal icing and attach the houses to the platter ahead of time, but I just had the girls do it when they got there.
I made 6 batches of royal icing, and put about 1 1/2 cups into a quart zip lock bag. I made about 18 of these.
When the girls were ready to go, I cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and they used the bag to squeeze the icing where they wanted it to go. Royal icing dries like glue and dries pretty quick, they were able to make some really cool designs and attach all kinds of candy to the houses and platter.
The girls did a BEAUTIFUL job decorating, they really did better then I ever expected! Plus, it was just a ton of fun! This is something I would like to do each year and let my kids invite their friends. They were so proud of their houses!
3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners’ sugar
6 tablespoons warm water
Makes: About 3 cups of icing.
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
NOTE: Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.
* For stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.
**When using large countertop mixer or for stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.