This royal icing is made with meringue powder so there is no worries of little mouths eating raw egg whites. It's the perfect *glue* for gingerbread houses and can be thinned out for decorating cookies.
Wipe down the bowl and balloon whisk attachment of a stand mixer or a mixing bowl and beaters of a hand-held mixer with a paper towel dampened with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. This ensures there is no oil or fat particles in the bowl, which will deflate the meringue.
Add all of the ingredients to the bowl and whisk on low speed, increasing to high speed as sugar incorporates until glossy stiff peaks form in the icing, about 10 minutes. Stop and scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
This recipe should produce a thick icing which is good to use as *glue* for holding together gingerbread houses. For decorating cookies, thin out a portion of the icing with more warm water, stirring in 1 teaspoon at a time until a desired consistency is reached. Add even more water to thin icing to flood or fill in designs on cookies.
To store icing: fill 3-4 pastry bags with the royal icing, leaving the tips of the bags uncut. Keep at room temp to use that day or refrigerate or freeze to use a later time. Thaw to room temp before using.
When ready to use for piping, prepare a new/clean pastry bag with a tip. Place the bag into a large jar (quart-sized works well) and fold down the ends of bag on the outside of the jar. Then snip off the end of a bag of the stored icing and squeeze the icing into the prepped clean/new bag. Lift up the ends of the new pastry bag off the jar and twist the bag to push icing down and remove any air.
Pipe icing onto baked and cooled cookies as detailed in the recipe for Gingerbread Houses above.
Recipe by Fare Isle at https://fareisle.com/gingerbread-houses/