Joanne SeeligJoanne Seelig is the current Family Programs Coordinator at the National Building Museum. An arts educator, administrator and performer she has worked in a variety of cultural organizations in Boston, MA, Berkeley, CA, and Washington, D.C. She received her Ed.M. from Harvard Graduate School of Education and her BA in Theatre from Washington University in St. Louis.
Joanne Seelig: Welcome back, my name is Joanne Seelig and I am the Family Programs Coordinator at the National Building Museum in Washington DC. I am here to show you how to build and decorate a ginger bread house. If you would like to make your own icing at home as opposed to buying it commercially, then all you need is two egg whites, some cream of tartar and a pound of confectioner s sugar which is also called powdered sugar. The first thing I am going to do is crack out the egg and separates the egg yolk. So, only the egg whites go into the bowl.
What I do is pass the yolk back and forth so that the white drips out. Next egg and I am ready for the confectioner s sugar. Just going to dump it all in and last but not least, a half teaspoon of the cream of tartar, once all of your ingredients are in the bowl, I would suggest using an electric beater to mix it up all together. You are going to continue to beat these ingredients for seven minutes and seven minutes later, you have your royal icing.
Now, before you are ready to start you are going to need your gingerbread pieces. We like to buy our gingerbread fresh from Clement s Bakery in Maryland. It is three-fourth of an inch thick and it is cooled and dried. You may wish the baker on at home and there is a lot of recipes and cook books in online. If you would like to do that on your own, what I would suggest doing is baking four sheets of gingerbread in your oven. Once you have the sheets of gingerbread you are going to want to cut out the appropriate shape to make your house. We use two triangles and two rectangles as the template for our house. What I would suggest doing is cutting out cardboard templates, so, you can cut out the gingerbread pieces.
Our rectangle is 12 inches by 8 inches and then we use a triangle of a height of 10 inches. Once you have those I will also suggest grabbing a cardboard base or you can use a tray, but this important because it is going to serve as the floor to your house. The piece that I am going to use today is 14 by 10. Now, that you have all of your pieces and your icing, you are ready to build.