$0.48 per cup 47% savings save $2.52 yearly
*Update: Many thanks to one commenter who mentioned that meringue powder (found in craft stores and some grocery stores) can be substituted for egg whites if you'd prefer to avoid raw eggs. For future reference: 2 teaspoons meringue powder + 2 Tablespoons water = 1 large egg white. The cost of the recipe will increase slightly.
WOW! After a long self-inflicted hiatus, (visiting family we only see once a year for several weeks) it's good to be back. To get into the groove of things, and since it seems appropriate for this time of year, I'd like to tell you about a new love in my life:
What started out as a fun traditional Christmas activity for my children turned into a major creative outlet for me... as evidenced by the un-realistic, yet semi-impressive "gingerbread house" above. *Notice there's no candy... I had to force myself to stop working on it, because my real home was turning into a disaster area from spending so much time bent over crackers and icing.
I got a tiny bit carried away...
I place all the blame entirely on the "glue"... I LOVE IT!!!
|My second daughter's simple alpine chalet|
Every other year that we've made gingerbread houses, we've used the typical graham crackers and my basic homemade frosting recipe, which happens to be buttercream... I know, I know, what did I expect? Buttercream is not meant to get rock hard. For whatever reason, I used it anyway.
Every other year, my frosting tended to run, took forever to dry, and wasn't all that sticky. One year, my daughter made them with friends using the canned stuff with similar results.
This year, something had to change, gosh darn it!
|My oldest daughter's candy creation|
So, after I'd made the royal icing, and we started making our graham cracker creations, I mentally crossed my fingers that all would go well. Turns out, I needn't have worried. The glue was...
So amazing, and so easy to work with, that it inspired me to do more than slap a few crackers together.
No holding two graham crackers together for 5 minutes in fear that they'd fall apart at any given moment.
No groaning in dismay as carefully placed candy slid down walls and rooftops.
Smiles and high-fives all around!
This will be my go-to recipe for gingerbread house "glue" from now on.
|My husband's "Christmas" tank... I'm still scratching my head over this one...|
*Makes about 3 cups
5 cups powdered or confectioner's sugar
3 egg whites
In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and egg whites together with a hand mixer for 3 minutes. Icing should be smooth. Use as desired.
*Tip: For easy decorating/construction of gingerbread houses, use a small round decorating tip, and fill a decorating bag with the icing.
** This recipe contains raw egg whites.
~ Savings ~
2 lb confectioner's sugar - $1.48 = 7.5 C = $0. 197/C = $0.987
1 dozen large eggs - $1.79 = $0.15/egg = $0.45
Total recipe cost = $1.44
Cost per cup = $0.48
Betty Crocker Vanilla Frosting (16 oz.) = $1.58
Per cup = $0.90
"Over a year" scenario:
Make Gingerbread House "Glue" 2 times = $2.88
Use equivalent Betty Crocker Vanilla Frosting (16 oz.) = $5.40
*Money Saved = $2.52