Monday, December 21, 2015

Gingerbread and Royal Icing

These two recipes are made to go together!

The gingerbread recipe makes soft, sweet, and spicy gingerbread cookies. And when you pair it with the royal icing, it's a match made in heaven. Or maybe in fairy-tale world.

My daughter made her annual batch of gingerbread cookies this week. Her recipe is from Martha Stewart, and it's fabulous. I didn't take pictures...I think I was taking a nap while she was baking.

Honey Gingerbread Cookies


5 1/2 cups flours
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (if you use salted butter, cut the salt back to 1 teaspoon)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup honey
1/2 cup molasses

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Beat the butter and sugar together in your mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the honey and molasses.

Using your mixer's low speed, add in the flour mixture gradually, beating just until the dough is combined.

Divide the dough into three portions, wrap each portion in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat your oven to 350°.

Roll out the dough and cut into shapes. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until firm and lightly browned at the edges.

Cool before decorating.

Royal Icing

This icing is the perfect match for these cookies. The pristine white icing against the brown cookies brings out the gingerbread goodness visually, and the light sweetness brings out the rich spicy flavor.

The easy way to make this icing is to use this:

No worries about using raw eggs, no fuss, and no muss.

Pair it with some confectioners, or powdered sugar, and you're all set.

ingredients (makes 3 cups icing):

3 Tablespoons Meringue powder
4 cups powdered sugar
5 Tablespoons warm water (at our elevation, about 3500 feet, we use 7 Tablespoons water)

Beat all ingredients about 7-10 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.

To decorate the cookies, you can use decorating bags with tips, or you can use a plastic zip-lock bag with one corner snipped off.

I used the bag with the snipped corner until Carrie bought herself some decorating bags.

(Just another one of those things I'm going to have to buy for myself when she moves out!)

Another tip - get one of these glasses. I think it's called a Pilsner glass. It's the perfect size and shape to hold your decorating bag while you fill it with icing. :)

So now that the decorating bags are filled and the cookies are ready, it's time to grab a handy boyfriend and get to work.

Josh and Carrie look like they were having a good time, aren't they?

Wait until the icing is dry, and you have gingerbread perfection.

Enjoy your gingerbread and your Christmas week!

From my family to yours, may your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white!


  1. Oh, gingerbread is so fun! And yes, they look like they're having a wonderful time! My friends made gingerbread houses this weekend, and they're just adorable. Gingerbread is just plain good stuff, Jan!

    My countdown is on for Christmas and edits, and family coming home for the holiday. I'm so excited!!!

    1. What a blessing to have family home for Christmas! I know you'll have a wonderful time :)

  2. I made gingerbread this past week as well. My decorating skills are horrid though. When I use a ziplock bag, they always split and splurt icing everywhere. I guess I'm heavy handed. LOL This year I just made a glaze and dunked the cookies and then sprinkled fancy sugar on them. Merry Christmas, Jan.

    1. Oooh, dunking the cookies in the glaze sounds like a great idea! I noticed a few dunked oreos sitting out after the cookie decorating party, but somehow they disappeared :)

      Merry Christmas, Kav!

  3. Oh, Jan, these look delicious. Thanks for sharing, Carrie.

    Because of all the back and forth to the vet clinic, Christmas prep has been rather minimal and as of yet includes no cookies. Yours are tempting me.

    1. How is Fenway doing? I've been thinking of him, and your trips back and forth!

      Christmas prep can wait, even until next year. Sometimes other things take precedence.

  4. hahaha I was going to say the same thing that Mary Jane did. I love gingerbread and the royal icing sounds really good. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Love this! In fact, I saw a recipe recently that included royal icing and was going to make it. But I could NOT find the meringue powder! Where is it usually in the grocery store? I looked all through the baking aisle (at least I thought I did).

    1. We find it in the cookie decorating aisle. Our Walmart has a separate section in the crafts area for Wilton supplies. We've also found it at Michael's, in their Wilton display.

      I hope you find it!