How to decorate a gingerbread Christmas tree with royal icing

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Gingerbread Christmas Tree with Royal Icing

I love the smell of gingerbread baking on a cool winter morning. Somehow it makes our home just a little bit more festive. This year I decided to decorate our holiday sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies with royal icing. I had moved to fondant for the past year but have returned to my cookie roots and am quite happy.

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First, bake some gingerbread, using your favourite recipe. Let them cool completely. I like to let them sit for a day before I start decorating. Prepare some royal icing. Traditional royal icing is quite thick, used for piping designs. For this application you will need to thin it out with some water. The right consistency for me is like children's white craft glue. When you pull your spoon out it should ribbon, leaving a trail of icing that very slowly blends in to the rest of the icing.

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Add some royal icing to the centre of your cookie. Using the back of a small spoon, spread to the shape of the cookie. I don't outline first. This is how my grandmother taught me and I think it works quite well :)

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Let the first layer of icing dry at least 3 to 4 hours. I let them dry overnight. Especially when using really bright or dark colours. Your colours may bleed into each other is you are impatient!

Now you can personalize your tree. I used toothpicks to add some ornaments as drops of coloured icing and also to make the star.

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Here is how you make a star...

Add a drop of royal icing

Using a toothpick, pull the first star tip up and out.

Repeat on the bottom to make the two bottom tips

Continue working around until you have a 5 point star

Now get decorating. This technique can be applied in so many ways.  It is so much fun!

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Happy Decorating!