Gingerbread House Recipe: What Childhood Fantasies (And Kitchen Nightmares) Are Made Of


Nothing says the holidays are here quite like personally decorated gingerbread houses. With their cookie walls, chocolate roofs, peppermint windows, and candy walk ways  they may be the fantasy houses of our childhood, but in reality these little houses are kitchen architectural nightmares. Making them from scratch can be a challenge, and before you know it your kitchen can turn into a sticky mess.

For us, everything went smoothly until when we had to actually build the house, I really think assembling the house is the hardest part. Our little house actually collapsed on us twice!!! (We were too greedy and put far too many candies on the roof!)

However I would say it's worth all the fuss because of all the fun we had. Messes are hard to deal but the smiles from your loved ones are so well worth it.

Ingredients:

For Gingerbread house
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 100 g Brown sugar
  • 300g plain flour 
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 tsp ground ginger 
  • 1 tsp baking Soda
For Icing
  • 2 egg whites
  • 400g Confectioners sugar (or thereabouts)
For decorations
  • Selection of sweets of your choice
 Preparation:

1. Cut out house templates
 
  1. Preheat Oven to 400F
  2. Melt butter, sugar and syrup in a pan over low heat. 
  3. Mix the flour, baking soda and ground ginger into a large bowl, then stir in the butter mixture to make a dough.
  4. Roll about one quarter of the dough. Put your template on top and cut out the shapes, then transfer the pieces onto a lightly greased  baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  5. Bake all the sections for 15 minutes or until firm. Leave to cool for a few minutes to firm up.
  6. Put the 2 egg whites in a large bowl, stir in confectioners sugar 100g at a time to make a thick, smooth icing 'glue'. Put the icing 'glue' into a piping bag. Pipe lines of icing along the wall edges, one by one, to join the walls together. Use hand  to support the walls from the inside, then allow to dry.
  7. When the walls are dry, fix the roof panels on. The angle is steep so you may need to hold these for a few minutes until the icing starts to dry. Let it dry completely, ideally overnight or at least for a few hours before decorating it with your favourite candies.

Husband Says: "Cats and dogs living together! Streets filled with lava! End of the world man! End of the world! Carmen isn't kidding when she says these little buggers are more work than one might imagine. Expect roof collapses, gingerbread man casualties, frosting entrails strewn about the battlefield that will become your kitchen. Suit up soldier, its time to build a gingerbread house! We did end up successful in the end thank God. I wouldn't live in our little gingerbread house because well, it isn't up to earthquake code. But I would show it off, maybe sell it to the highest bidder. Eat it? Naw, too proud of it. Good times all around. Just be wary of the prep time for these things, they can be dastardly!"


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