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Royal icing

Royal icing
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

For many of us, gingerbread houses are as much a part of Christmas as decorated trees and candy canes. Whereas some people vary the traditional ski chalet or wood cabin by turning their gingerbread houses into cathedrals, castles, Hogwarts or ... Read more

Total time: 7 minutes | Makes a generous 3 cups icing
  • 3 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 pound powdered sugar

Step 1In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until the whites are fluffy and have formed soft peaks. With the mixer running, begin beating in the powdered sugar. Continue beating until all of the sugar has been added and the icing holds stiff peaks when the beater is raised. If not using immediately, cover the surface of the icing with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying and hardening.

Note: Consuming raw eggs can pose potential health problems. If the icing is to be consumed, consider using pasteurized egg whites or substituting powdered egg whites or meringue powder (consult the packaging for proper substitutions). See story for step-by-step instructions on creating gingerbread house.


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