Christmas Gingerbread House
It's that time of year again and we need to entertain the Little One and her cousins. But this year we were really smart. I bought 3 sets of "gingerbread house kits" that had all the pieces of the house was already prepared and baked!
All we (as the grown ups) had to do is put the house together and prepare the icing for the "glue". I must admit, I think we had almost as much fun as the kids. It is so satisfying seeing something go from the boring 2 dimensions to something exciting in 3 dimensions!
The only downside of buying per-prepared houses are that some pieces were broken when we opened the packets. The solution is to use some of the "glue" and apply liberally to the inside of the crack and allow to dry before construction the house. Now the fun part (or dirty party if you are the house cleaner): the kiddies get to decorate the house!
We found the best way was to mix some icing sugar with as little water as possible (otherwise it runs of the roof!), spread it on the sides of the roof and give the kids a whole bunch of sweets to decorate. We also bought cute little gingerbread men and helped glue it to the houses. My cousin also made these cute little Christmas tree cupcakes, which we just added to the houses as decoration.
If you do wish to make your own then use this recipe. This recipe is enough for 2 houses and some gingerbread men.
- 360g butter, at room temperature
- 200g dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 300g syrup
- 4 eggs
- 3 tablespoon mixed spice
- 3 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
For the edible glue:
- 6 egg whites
- 1,5 kg icing sugar sifted
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
2. Cut out the following paper patterns for the gingerbread house template
3. Cream the sugar and butter until fluffy.
4. Add the eggs one by one and mix well.
5. Add the sugar, zest and lemon juice. Mix until well combined.
6. Meanwhile sift the flour, baking powder and spices.
7. Add flour cup for cup to the butter mixture until a dough forms.
8. Add the dough hook and 'knead' for a few minutes.
9. Fold in baking parchment and rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
10. Knead the dough until its elastic and roll it out to about 0.5 cm. (we did it at 0.25 cm and it was too thin).
11. Cut out the shapes for the sides and roof.
12. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
13. Allow to cool and dry over night.
Just look at how much fun they are having!
So here is to a Merry Christmas to you all and a prosper (and fabulous) new year!