–Send us a picture of your building to win one of 2 $25 Now You’re Cooking Gift Certificates
–We’ll have two categories: Traditional and Non-Traditional (think boats, trains, animals…let your imagination run wild!)
–Winners will be selected on December 23, 2021 at 5pm during our Egg Nog Facebook Live Demo.
–All ages are welcome to enter!
–Email your submissions to email@example.com or tag us in your social media posts (make sure your profile is public so we can see them!).
This is such a fun project to make with kids! You can get a template from the internet (Sally’s Baking Addiction has a printable template on her blog) or you can make it up based on your own house, or a fairy tale castle, an old Norman church, or even a little village of mini houses! (Just remember to carefully measure your pieces, and go into it with a lot of patience!) Make your gingerbread pieces in advance, as they have to cool and set completely before you try to put them together.
Use any kind of candy or cereal you like for the decorations. If you have a steady hand, you can pipe on very delicate elements with the royal icing. (There are tons of amazing examples on the web to give you ideas.) If you plan on eating your gingerbread edifice, remember the longer it sits, the harder the gingerbread will get. We recommend building and enjoying it for a day or two, and then eating it on Christmas Eve!
For the Gingerbread:
375g All Purpose Flour (3 Cups)
¼ teasp Baking SODA
2 teasp Ground Ginger
2 teasp Ground Cinnamon
½ teasp Ground Allspice
¼ teasp Salt
6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
150 g Brown Sugar (¾ C packed)
1 Egg, at room temperature
½ C Dark Molasses
1 T Water
Prepare your building shapes before making the recipe. (Draw on paper or cardboard, and cut out.)
Whisk the flour, baking soda, spices and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Beat in egg, molasses, and water on high speed, scraping sides as needed to fully mix.
On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
Divide dough in 2, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. And line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking sheets.
Remove the dough and roll out between 2 pieces of parchment paper to ¼” thick. (It’s very sticky, so you really need the parchment.)
Lightly flour the surface, and place the templates on the dough. Carefully cut around using a paring knife. Remember, you need 2 of each shape for a regular house – a front and a back, two walls and two roof panels. Keep rerolling scraps as needed for all pieces. (Make sure you cut out the windows and doors before baking!)
Gently transfer pieces to the baking sheets, straightening out any edges that lose their share in the process.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.
Cool completely on the sheets or on racks.
For the Royal Icing (ie the “Glue”) from Food 52
3 Large Egg Whites
½ teasp Cream of Tartar
4 C Powdered Sugar
Beat whites and cream of tartar until foamy.
Gradually add sugar.
Beat until fluffy, about 7-10 minutes.
Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to keep it from drying out. You can refrigerate or store at room temperature.
Building the House:
Choose a base – a tray, a cake stand, or something flat and solid where your house will stay until you eat it.
Start with 2 pieces – the front and a side. Using a squeeze bottle or piping bag, run a line of icing along the bottom and side of the front. Stick it to your base. (Another set of helping hands is very useful, or prop it up with whatever you have handy.) Run a line of icing along the bottom of the side piece, and stick it to the base and front. Hold it for a couple of minutes while it sets, and prop it up as necessary.
Repeat this process with the other two pieces. Pipe more royal icing on the inside to really glue it together.
Allow it to set for about 2 hours before adding the roof pieces.
Add roof pieces one at a time, putting lots of “glue” on the edges, and holding in place for a few minutes before adding the other half. Run a thick line of icing along the peak.
Before you start decorating, make sure the house has set for a few hours. (Cover royal icing tightly, with plastic wrap on the surface, and store at room temperature or in the fridge – make sure you bring it out in time to warm up before you use it.)
Now the fun begins! Using the icing as glue, stick on pieces of candy, cereal, chocolate – whatever you want, or use the icing to pipe out intricate designs. Make sure the whole thing sets before you try to relocate it.