The Gingerbread House
Christmas is our favorite time of the year: the music, the decorations, the tree, the sweaters, the eggnog... the cookies! Everything is just perfect. This year, I wanted to make something extra special. I wanted to make a Gingerbread house. Despite what it seems, putting together a gingerbread house, can be tricky. The cookies can end up too heavy, thick and soft and not hold up. Then, the icing can be too moist, and you could wake up to a pile of broken cookies. Anything and everything can go wrong, and more often than not, it does (especially if you don't really know what you're doing)!
But don't worry, we've got your back: the fool proof Gingerbread House tutorial. Speaking from past experience, I've learned what NOT to do. I'm happy to share with you the perfect Gingerbread house recipe. All you've got to do, is follow the directions, and the exact measurements in the recipe. I've took pictures of all the steps, so you can easily follow the directions. This Gingerbread house will brighten up your christmas as well as everyone else's. So, have fun decorating it with your friends and family (or by yourself - if you're one of those people who is bossy in the kitchen, and everyone knows they can safely leave you alone)
First, sift together dry ingredients.
Then, in a small bowl, measure 2 sticks of butter and 1 cup of dark brown sugar. In a separate bowl, measure 1 1/2 cups dark molasses.
Beat together brown sugar and soft butter, brought to room temperature, until light and fluffy.
Next, add two eggs. And beat well.
Add 1 1/2 cups of molasses. Beat until smooth.
Finally, gradually add dry ingredients.
Now that that dough is finished, create 3 or 4 equal balls of dough, and wrap them with plastic wrap. Transfer to the freezer for at least one hour.
In the mean time, print out your Gingerbread House Templates (PDF). Cut out the shapes.
Now, take chilled dough out of the freezer, and roll out thin (approx 1/2 cm thick). Be careful not to make the dough too thick or it will be too soft and/or heavy. Cut out all the pieces of your gingerbread house, and refreeze for 15 minutes.
Bake the pieces of your gingerbread house in the oven, for approximately 10 minutes at 180 degrees celcius. You want your cookies to be hard and sturdy enough to hold up. So make sure you bake them enough so they're not too soft in the middle.
While your cookies are baking in the oven, start preparing the icing you will use to glue all the pieces together: 5 cups of powdered sugar with two egg whites. The consistency of this icing needs to be very thick, and on the dry side. The more "wet" your icing, the more the cookie will absorbe its moisture, and the more delicate it will make your structure. So make sure its not to wet if you don't want your house to come crumbling down!
Cover a strong piece of card board with tin foil: this will be the base of your gingerbread house.
Start putting your house together, once the cookies are all baked and cooled down. Paste some glue on the tin foil where you want to place the first wall. Get someone to help you hold it while you stick the first front side. Make sure it's dry enough, before letting it go. I did a front side and a wall at a time. When your bottom (two walls and two sides) is all dry, glue one side of the roof. Let that dry for ten minutes, before gluing the next. Finally, put the chimney together, before sticking it onto the house.
When your house is all put together and dry, start decorating!!
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