Decorating Gingerbread Cookies

Decorating gingerbread cookies can be one of the most enjoyable times of the holiday season. No gingerbread man is complete without homemade icing. These beautifully decorated cookies will go a long way as a thoughtful gift and a tasty snack.

Recipe for Gingerbread Icing
Ingredients You Will Need:
½ cup unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 to 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk or light cream
Food colors (optional)

Start with your butter, and beat it until smooth with an electric mixer. Then gradually stir in the sugar, vanilla extract and the milk. If it looks like you need a little more milk, eye ball it and continue to stir. Keep beating on high until you get a thick consistency. Once it's completed, you can put your icing into a pastry bag with a decorative tip and design your own cookies. Add food colors to your original frosting if so desired.

Frosting Variations
Another quick recipe for frosting consists only of ½ teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 egg white and 2 cups of sugar. First, beat your egg and then combine your remaining ingredients. Whisk them together, or use an electric mixer until the icing is thick. Try crafting small buttons or bowties for gingerbread men using the icing. As for gingerbread women, you can use different designs to create patterns on a dress.

Stencils for Decorating Gingerbread People
If you're looking to make a whole batch of varied gingerbread men and women, you'll want to find a stencil to help you carve out your figures. You can find stencils at any baking or craft store. Pieces of cut-up licorice and small chocolate candy balls make great accessories as well. Gumdrops tend to be rather large, but they can also work as an interesting accessory.

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