Gingerbread houses: I would move into one if humanly possible. Cookie walls, chocolate fondant roof, and a nonpareil walkway... yep. Those are all the amenities I'm looking for in life.
|Tiny mistletoe hangs above the entry.|
Need a good template? I use and recommend this one from bbcgoodfood.com. Just print out 3 copies and cut out each of the shapes. It is just the right size for a single batch of dough with a little left over to roll out and cut into cookies.
I had planned to decorate this house with gumdrops and colorful candies, but obviously the muse led elsewhere. I'm not sure where the Bavarian influence came from, but... I like it!
The roof shingles and other "wood" ornamentation are pieces of chocolate fondant that were striated with a toothpick and adhered with dabs of corn syrup. The trees are cupcake picks placed randomly around the house in the powdered sugar "snow".
Below you'll find the "bricks and mortar" for your house. The rest is up to you!
Gingerbread House Dough
2-3 dozen cookies, or one gingerbread house and accouterments
[click for printable version]
3½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
½ cup molasses - not black strap, and preferably "golden", "mild" or "sorghum" molasses
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sift flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in another large bowl at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat 1 minute. Add molasses; beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low; beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend.
- Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Form each half into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap disks separately in plastic; chill until firm, at least 4 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
- Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper to ¼-inch thickness. Use gingerbread house templates or decorative cookie cutters to cut-out shapes and transfer to prepared sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Gather scraps, roll out dough, and cut more shapes/cookies, repeating until all dough is used. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are firm on top and slightly darker around edges, about 8 minutes for smaller shapes and up to 15 minutes for larger shapes.
- Cool completely on rack. Line baking sheets with fresh parchment as needed.
Note: Cookies will not spread much during baking, but for precise gingerbread house construction, cookies can be perfectly re-cut while still hot. Place the paper templates on top of the hot cookies, and quickly cut with a plain-edge knife - but be careful not to burn yourself!
Yield: 2 1/2 -3 cups [click for printable version]
3-4 Tbsp meringue powder
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp lemon extract
1. Whisk together meringue powder and powdered sugar. Pour mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment.
2. Add warm water and mix on high speed for about 5-7 minutes or until stiff peaks are achieved. Transfer to a piping bag and use to adhere gingerbread house pieces.
Notes: Not all meringue powder is created equal. Be sure to check the recipe on the container before you begin. I usually use 3 Tbsp. meringue powder, but if you don't have a powerful stand mixer in which to whip the icing, you may use an additional tablespoon. It will come together more quickly.