Gingerbread Man Garland
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, corn syrup, vanilla extract, and brown sugar and beat on medium-low until well incorporated.
Add in the spices, flour, and salt and stir until just incorporated with no dry patches of flour remaining.
Turn out the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour and roll the dough out to a sheet ¼ inch thick.
Carefully cut out gingerbread men with a cookie cutter, then transfer the cut-outs to the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until cookies are no longer shiny and are almost completely set. Remove the cookies from the oven and while they are still hot, carefully punch out holes with a straw in the arms of each gingerbread man. Allow the cookies to cool completely.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the meringue powder with the water and beat with the whisk on medium speed attachment until mixture is frothy.
Add in the powdered sugar and increase the speed to medium-high, until the mixture is thick and has semi-stiff peaks.
Place about ½ cup of the royal icing in a small bowl and add about 1 teaspoon of water to reach a consistency similar to toothpaste. Dye the icing with food coloring as desired, then separate half of the mixture into another bowl to thin it out slightly with about 1 – 2 teaspoons of water for your “flooding” icing. Repeat with remaining icing to make as any colors as you need
Transfer the thicker icing to a piping bag fitted with a #4 piping tip. This icing is for outlining the cookies.
Transfer the thinner icing to a piping bag fitted with a #5 or #6 piping tip. This is for filling in or “flooding” the outlines.
If you choose, flip half of your gingerbread men upside down to make some into reindeer, then proceed to decorate as desired. Allow the icing to dry for about 3 – 4 hours before handling.
Thread the ribbon through the holes in the cookies to create a festive, delicious garland.