Friday, 21 December 2012

Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread houses remind me of fairy tales. :-) I made my first "gingerbread winter village" a couple of years ago, and it's become an integral part of my Christmas preparation by now. You may say it's quite time (an labour!) consuming, but most of all - it's so much fun! OK, maybe apart from  the moment of sitting still and holding the walls and roof to "stick the house" together. :-)

Ingredients (enough to make a couple of houses)

2 and 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 egg
5 tbsp soft butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
3 ground cloves

Egg white
Icing sugar

In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, soda, and spices. Melt butter on a hob and add honey and stir until they blend, then pour into the bowl with other ingredients and crack in the egg. Knead until the dough is smooth. Cover the bowl with cling film and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Prepare a template for your house (front, back 2 walls and 2 pieces to make the roof). Roll the dough on a dusted surface and cut out the pieces of the house. Cut out the windows and place a boiled sweet into each - they'll melt into colourful "window panes". You can cut out the door, however, it needs to be done at the bottom of the "front wall" - if you cut the door out higher (leaving a threshold) it won't stick onto the house and you won't be able to give your houses slightly ajar door. That's what happened with my first houses, thus they lack doors. :-)
This tear I went for the "log cabin effect" - by making slight incisions on the gingerbread "walls", and created a small pile of wood in front of the house.

Bake the parts in 180C for about 10 minutes. Leave them to rest, then decorate the parts with icing before assembling the house. Leave the decorated parts to dry. Then stick the walls together with icing (and support them until the icing starts getting dry), then attach the roof.
My very first gingerbread house
my first gingerbread winter village
gingerbread log cabin

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