I added a drop of Regal Purple to Sky Blue to achieve a true baby blue icing.
Try adding a drop of Deep Pink to Soft Pink to give it a little punch. Not too much, just enough to shift the color from beige to blush.
Outline and flood your houses with 14-16 second icing using a #2 basic round tip. Allow to dry completely.
Pipe white edges and window details with a icing that's just a bit stiffer than flood consistency using a #1 basic round tip. Allow to dry completely.
Use a small open star tip and stiff royal icing to pipe snow drifts on the roofs. I used an Ateco #16 open star tip.
I'm not exactly sure where I picked up the small snowflake and tree cookie cutters. I bought them before I started blogging and keeping track of where my cutters come from. But, I've linked to some similar options in the supply list below.
Hearth & Hand with Magnolia house cookie cutters
AmeriColor Mint Green
AmeriColor Sky Blue
AmeriColor Regal Purple (add a tiny drop to the sky blue)
AmeriColor Soft Pink
AmeriColor Deep Pink (add a couple drops to soft pink)
Ateco #16 Open Star Tip
Snowflake cookie cutters
Gingerbread Cutout Cookies
Makes about 24 medium large cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/8 teaspoon all-spice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5/8 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 large free-range egg
1/3 cup mild or regular molasses
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a large bowl, sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. TIP: scoop flour and level with the back side of a knife.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Beat in egg, scraping sides of bowl between additions.
Add molasses and vanilla and beat until completely incorporated.
Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Dough should be tender (not dry or crumbly) but not sticky. If sticky, add flour one tablespoon at a time until dough is not tacky to the touch. If dry, add molasses one tablespoon at a time until dough starts pull together.
Roll dough between two pieces of lightly floured parchment paper to desired thickness. TIP: wood dowels or rolling pin rings make this easy!
Chill rolled dough for about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350º
Cut desired shapes and transfer to parchment lined baking sheets. Chill shapes until ready to bake.
Bake until edges just start to brown. 8 minutes for medium cookies 10 minutes for large cookies. Be careful not to over bake. Cookies may become dry if over baked.
Cool for 5 minutes on pans then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Jes Best Royal Icing
Makes enough to decorate 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on size
970 g [2 lb bag] confectioners' sugar, no need to sift
80g [or 8-10 tablespoons] meringue powder (CK or Henry & Henry)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (to keep icing bright white)
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons water
Food coloring (optional)
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix sugar, meringue powder and cream of tartar on low for just a bit to incorporate evenly.
Slowly add 1/2 cup water while mixing at a low speed. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until sugar is just wet.
Scrape sides of the mixing bowl. Increase speed one notch (#2 on Kitchenaid stand mixer). Mix for five minutes. When finished icing should have a matte (not glossy) finish and hold it's shape on the paddle when pulled up/out of the bowl.
Separate into clean, oil-free containers and tint with gel food coloring.
This recipe yields "stiff" consistency for piping details. Add water as needed to achieve flooding consistency.
Keep covered tightly and store for up to a week in a cool dry place or 10 days in the refrigerator. Mix well when ready to use.