A gingerbread tale
Last year I went to a gingerbread house making class at church. The lady who showed us make a gorgeous house in minutes right in front of us, so I went home and gave it a try. I made 3 gingerbread houses last year and learnt lots on the way! It is HARD and takes A LONG TIME!!
After spending all the time making them (and them not being attractive enough to gift ;) the last thing I wanted to do was eat it. I ended up sending one of the houses along to my daughters school. The teacher read "The Gingerbread Man" and "Hansel and Gretel" to the kids and then they devoured that house.. they licked the plate clean :)
So apparently this makes up a family tradition and now both my girls want to take a Gingerbread house to school. So I spent today making said Houses to take to school tomorrow
Here is house number 1 - I am very happy with the way it turned out for only my second year trying.
Here is house number 2 - Do you think I can tell the kids it's just a gingerbread house that was in a snowstorm/cyclone/hurricane/typhoon/tsunami/insert calamity here?
I am bribing older daughter (who got to take a house last year) to forgive me and I will attempt again later in the week. If not I suppose I will owe her big time
Here are my gingerbread house tips for any of you first timers (or second timers like me)
It can take up to a day- so split the steps up for quicker finishing. This year I made the dough on one day, cooked it early morning another day and iced it together in the afternoon
Don't let your kids help! The first year I let my older daughter stay up to help me.. It took hours and their help is less than helpful :) Make the house and ice alone then allow children to attach the candy.
Gingerbread dough is really sticky from all the butter - You must refridgerate the dough for atleast an hour, or if you want to cheat like me, I put mine in the freezer
I learnt this tip this week - Roll the dough between two sheets of baking paper
Then place the rolled out dough into the freezer - baking paper and all
When it is harder, but still pliable take out of freezer and cut the house shapes out with scissors!!
I then placed all the pieces in the freezer wrapped in cling wrap (this is all I did on that day- I made the house another day)
When it came time to make the house it did not take me so long as the shapes were cut and ready to cook and then decorate the house.
Fill the house with wrapped lollies (candy) before you put the roof pieces on
You need LOTS of icing. The royal icing is the glue/mortar to hold your house together. You will need probably two packets of pure icing sugar. I find the houses fall down without enough icing... you can never have too much icing to keep it together.
So there is my advice for you all.. or maybe the best advice.. buy one already made :) But that takes the fun out of it :)
I used Coco Pops Chex for the roof tiles, sour straps for door and window, smarties, mint leaves, Musk Sticks to make my house.