About the Recipe
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ingredient 1 : Confectioners Sugar : 1 pound (453 g) sifted, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup (3 large) pasteurized egg whites, at room temperature
In a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, cream of tartar, and pasteurized egg whites. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Expert Tip: An equal amount of lemon juice can be substituted for the cream of tartar, if you don't have cream of tartar in your pantry.
When finished, cover with plastic wrap, making sure it touches the royal icing so a crust doesn't form. Royal icing dries out quickly, so make sure it is covered all the time. Otherwise, lumps will form in the icing and they will never pass through an icing tip.
Royal icing can be used immediately or stored with plastic wrap pressed against the top and completely sealed in the fridge for a few days.
The best and easiest way to use royal icing is to transfer it to a piping or pastry bag. The piping bag makes it much easier to get into corners when assembling the gingerbread house and allows for more exact placement of candy decorations like icicles and curlicues. This recipe makes enough royal icing for assembling and decorating a standard-sized Cookie House. When ready to use, transfer to a piping bag and decorate.
Please Note: After being piped onto gingerbread or cookies, royal icing should harden in about 15 to 30 minutes. The exact amount of time will depend on the temperature and humidity in your kitchen. When building a gingerbread house, it's best to let the walls set up for a few hours before adding the roof.
Expert Tip: You can tint the icing by using a small amount of paste food color (Avoid using liquid food color because it will dilute the icing and make it soupy).
For 1/4 cup tinted icing, dip the tip of a toothpick into the desired color, then into the icing and whip. Repeat until the desired color is achieved.
For strong colors, such as red, royal blue, and dark purple, use 1/8 teaspoon color to 1/4 cup icing.