Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gingerbread Houses

Who said that gingerbread houses were only for kids? Well, they surely aren't! I like to have fun from time to time doing things I haven't done in a long time. Tis the season to be creative and eat lots of junk food.

First I got a recipe from online from

* 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
* 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
* 1/4 cup light molasses or dark corn syrup
* 1 tablespoon cinnamon
* 1 tablespoon ground ginger
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 tablespoons water

Gingerbread House:

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth. Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough. Chill at least 30 minutes or until firm.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut paper patterns for the gingerbread house:" (I found a template online and printed it to the size I wanted the houses to be.)

"Roll gingerbread dough out to edges on a large, rimless cookie sheet. Place paper patterns onto the rolled out dough. With a sharp, straight edged knife, cut around each of the pieces, but leave pieces in place.

Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes until dough feels firm.

Place patterns on top of the gingerbread again and trim shapes, cutting edges with a straight-edged sharp knife. Leave to cool on baking sheet.

Place royal icing into pastry bag with a writing tip and press out to decorate individual parts of house, piping on decorations, windows, door, etc., as desired. Let dry until hardened.

Glue sides, front and back of house together at corners using royal icing. Place an object against the pieces to prop up until icing is dry (it only takes a few minutes).

Glue the two roof pieces to the pitched roofline of the house. Then, similarly, glue the sides and roof of the entryway together with icing. Attach the entryway to the front of the house.

Continue decorating the house, glueing on gumdrops, licorice and peppermint, as desired.
Royal Icing:

* 1 pound (3-3/4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
* 1 to 2 large egg whites, or substitute 4 teaspoons packaged egg whites and 1/4 cup water
* 1 teaspoon almond extract, vanilla or lemon juice"

Mix all of the ingredients together using an electric hand mixer, until the icing is smooth and thin enough to be pressed through a pastry bag with a writing tip. Add more lemon juice, if necessary.

It was dffinitely time consuming and difficult at times but I had a lot of fun and got to be a pig and eat lots of candy from the house while watching Greys Anatomy.
I did a test run a couple of days before and it went horribly wrong, I learned that the recipe is there for a reason and that is to give you specific directions so that the house actually turns out looking like a house! :)

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