I love to pipe icing. I love the swirls, the dots, the scrolls, the shells. Nothing adds flair to a gingerbread house like delicate, lacy patterns of white sugar. Well, honestly, great stacks of sticky-chewy-shiny candy do a great job too. But I love the piping.
And here, ta da, is my book!
The book includes a section on piping, as well as patterns for the designs you see on each gingerbread house.
It’s available online, and at your nearest Barnes & Noble.
If you don’t buy a copy, check your local library.
I was greatly honored to receive a *starred* review from the Library Journal.
As a consequence of that review, many budding gingerbread architects find my book at the local library. Some have even been kind enough to forward photos of the gingerbread houses they’ve constructed from my plans and patterns.
You can find piping patterns on my gingerbread house patterns such as these:
Now that we’ve talked about me, and then some more about me, let’s move on to a few examples of exceptional piping work done by other sugar artists.
I’ve narrowed it down to five for this initial piping post, but hope to continue in future installments.
There is just so much awesome gingerbread out there!
The Art of Royal Icing is the most comprehensive piping guide available. Notice the author, Mr. Eddie Spence, has been knighted, yes knighted, for piping royal icing. There’s absolutely no gingerbread in this book, but any conversation about piping must start with #1. And Eddie Spence is #1.
He spends most work days teaching international sugarcraft classes, but cranks out a few cakes for Queen Elizabeth in his spare time. The serious sugar artist can find his book on Amazon.
Closer to home, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Kathleen Lange, of The Confectionary Chalet.
Kathleen teaches piping, specifically the Lambeth style of over-piping, around the world. Many of the classes take place in her Alpine, CA studio.
You can find Kathleen’s class schedule on www.confectionarychalet.com.
Take a peek at her Lambeth style gingerbread house below. To see the depths of Kathleen’s talent, please look at the larger image available on Confectionary Chalet. She is an absolute Jedi Piping Master.
And would you believe it, she teaches a class for this exact house!
Here’s a link to the gingerbread class in November.
Date: Wed. 11/2/2016 – Wed., 11/9/2016 – 2 Day Class
Time: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: Confectionary Chalet Studio, Alpine, CA
Meet Tunde Dugansti of Tunde’s Creations.
Tunde was born and raised in Hungary. She moved to the USA in 2004, and lives with her husband, son, and twin daughters in Kentucky. Tunde enjoys combining the old traditions with new techniques, creating new designs, and sharing the art of cookie decorating.
Tunde updates her youtube channel with popular tutorials like this one.
Check out photos and the Table of Contents from her Christmas Gingerbread book.
I have a copy of Gingerbread Academy. It came in the mail only last year yet already sports dog-eared pages, drops of honey, and smudges of cinnamon. Tunde and Aniko (co-author) have included an entire appendix of piping patterns for practice. These patterns alone make the book a worthy purchase.
If you want a gingerbread book that shows you how to create stunning houses with only cookies and icing, buy this book.
I love Tunde’s work so much, I have to share another page. This is one cookie from a set of four. Visit her website to see the other three. Tunde’s photos are larger with better resolution. You won’t be disappointed!
Another free piping tutorial available on Tunde’s YouTube channel:
Tunde’s co-author, Anikó Vargáné Orbán maintains a gingerbread blog, Facebook page, and YouTube channel. Each venue showcases her cookies, cakes, and gingerbread creations. The text is in Hungarian, but Google Translate will give you the general idea.
Aniko has a special gift for adding layers of icing to create three dimensional designs, and for adding colored icings alongside the traditional white. She teaches gingerbread master classes in addition to cake and cookie decorating classes.
Aniko’s website: http://mezeskalacsajandekok.blogspot.com
Here’s a photo from Aniko’s Facebook page. The gingerbread cookie is molded, but notice that she’s also over-piped the icing layers to add more complexity.
Here’s a photo and link from Aniko’s blog.
The molded cookies placed on top of the gingerbread frames transform this cookie panorama into a cookie diorama. Beautiful!
And finally, an interview from Aniko’s youtube channel.
I have one more powerhouse of piping to introduce today.
Originally from the Ukraine, Nadia now lives in California. She has always loved beautiful things made by hand. Ever since childhood she dreamt of creating beauty. It started with Christmas ornaments, then drawing, postcards, candy bouquets, cakes, painting utensils … and finally cookies!
Cookies are her favorite artistic endeavor and the one to which she gives almost all of her time.
Wander around Nadia’s extensive portfolio and you’ll notice immediately that her talents start, but don’t end, with piping. She also paints and airbrushes her cookies.
And look at this … apples! Nadia can pipe these fantastic patterns on apples!
If that isn’t a test of piping skill, I don’t know what is.
And do you remember this photo?
It’s all over pinterest, Facebook, and tumblr.
It’s from Nadia!
Visit her My Little Bakery blog at http://cakecreationsforyou.blogspot.com for a free tutorial, complete with cookie recipe, glaze recipe, and detailed instructions.
A generous gift from a generous artist.
I know these are not gingerbread houses, but remember —
The Gingerbread Journal (that’s me) always, always, always decorates gingerbread house walls while they lie flat. Always.
Wouldn’t the colors and design on this heart cookie perfectly lend themselves to a Valentine’s Day gingerbread house? Click on the link to see more closeups of the cookie below. And please, browse My Little Bakery’s blog and YouTube channel. Nadia has some amazing material.
in 2016, Nadia was one of a few special presenters at the Cookie Con Cookie Art Convention and Show in Salt Lake City. She taught an auditorium full of cookie enthusiasts how she creates her delicate embroidery and lace patterns.
I wish I could have been there.
Well, Nadia has provided the next best thing, videos of several projects that she taught. See the others on her YouTube channel.