Using melted sugar to assemble gingerbread houses
As I was searching for a royal icing recipe this week to make our graham cracker gingerbread houses, I came upon a tip hidden in the reviews. The reviewer said that melted sugar makes excellent glue for the setting up the houses—it sets up almost instantly and it sticks well.
I tried it: I melted about 2/3 cup sugar in a small pan. Try not to let it burn like I did: it smelled awful and it looks like chocolate on the finished houses. I was too lazy to start over, since the edibleness of the houses is secondary to the fun of the activity, in my opinion.
When the sugar was melted, I took it off the heat and quickly assembled my prepared cracker pieces by dipping the sides of the crackers in the melted sugar and setting them on my foil-covered cardboard. Try not to get any melted sugar on your finger like I did. It really hurts. (You probably won't want the kids helping with this. My kids were helping their daddy disassemble a fax machine in the next room while I did this, and gingerbread houses held no interest for them at the moment.)
I made up a batch of royal icing for the decorating later—obviously the melted sugar wouldn't work for that; the candy would melt right into it. But I would highly recommend the sugar for assembling the houses. It works!