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Old 11-17-2004, 08:45 PM   #1
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Gingerbread House Help

What is the best way to get a gingerbread house to stick together. The youth director from my church is making them from a kit & she is having trouble getting them to stay together. She wants to make enough houses for the children to decorate Friday night. Does anyone have any suggestions? She is using the powdered icing mix that was included in each kit.

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Old 11-17-2004, 08:52 PM   #2
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Royal Icing. The trick is to not make it too hard and brittle or the house will not hold together as well.

Royal Icing
1 1/2 c warm water
12 tb Meringue powder
4 pounds powdered sugar

1.Beat the water and meringue powder until frothy. Add as much powdered sugar as necassary to create a thick, but not too stiff, icing. Food coloring can be added if desired.
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Old 11-17-2004, 10:55 PM   #3
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As kansasgirl says, Royal Icing. Once it dries, it's like cake cement.
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Old 11-18-2004, 12:05 AM   #4
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Another less obvious glue is simple syrup, cooked to the hard crack stage and brushed onto the edges while still hot and liquid. But you have to stick the peices together quickly before the syrup has a chance to cool and harden. The syrup can also be used to make transparent windows. :D

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Old 11-18-2004, 07:45 AM   #5
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Thanks y'all, I should have been more clear. They are using a the Royal Icing mix that came with the houses.
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:20 AM   #6
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Have them check the consistency of the icing that came with the kit. It may be too thin. Just add a little powder sugar to stiffen it up a bit (but not too much!).

Also, if they're going to cover the seems of the walls, they could very gently file the edges that they're "gluing" together. That allows more surface to apply the icing to, allowing for better adhesion. (I just saw this on a show about chocolate, and am assuming it applys across the board).

Good luck!
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:33 AM   #7
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Thanks PA, I'll call her & let her know.
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Old 11-18-2004, 06:52 PM   #8
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If they have never used royal icing before or don't know what it should look like, they may not be mixing it up correctly.

Since it's a whipped egg white product, they can't be using plastic bowls. Gotta use stainless steel, copper, or glass/ceramic bowls that are squeeky clean. Can't have a bit of oil or grease left in it. The beaters must be similarly clean.

It's stuff more seasoned people take for granted, but if it's a newbie doing it, could cause problems. In this case, if it's not done properly, the royal icing will be too runny and won't work well.
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Old 11-18-2004, 08:04 PM   #9
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Thanks Psi! I'm going over to the church early tomorrow & see if I can help them. I think part of the problem may be that they are being to impatient also. I'll check to see what kind of bowls & things they are using too.
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:48 PM   #10
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I've found the that more whipped up royal icing is, the faster it will dry.
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:52 PM   #11
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Thanks agin Psi! I made one last year & had no problems with it. I'll just have to see what they are doing & go from there tomorrow.
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Old 10-23-2006, 03:37 PM   #12
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royal icing

I want to put together packages for making graham cracker gingerbread houses to send to soldiers overseas as a Christmas craft. the icing is the problem. what can I use that isn't fussy and could be mixed in the zip lock bag and then "cement" the graham crackers together?
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