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Gingerbread making and constructing a dwelling worthy the gingerbreadcookie family

December 18, 2009

I am in such Christmas spirit this year I have gone all the way out and decided to not only bake gingerbread cookies – but even to build a house for the gingerbread men and women (for the cookie cutters I got very cute ones at IKEA).

I downloaded a recipe from the web and exchanged everything that I did not have for something else. Case in point – dried ginger had to be replaced with fresh ginger, molasses, which I will never use again, had to be replaced with maple syrup and honey that I already had at home. I never use butter so butter was replaced with olive oil.
And let me tell you – did I get the best tasting gingerbread dough ever. We almost had to take the architectural plans off the chart as a lot of the building material went into my mouth instead.

The dough has to sit for 24 hours before you can use it and this is the hardest part as it is hard not to eat it all up in those 24 hours….

I then downloaded a traditional looking gingerbread house template from the net. Here are some good sites to download blueprints – you can get anything from Hanzel and Grethel to some to some Franklin Lloyd Web looking structures:

After baking the various house pieces in the oven I trimmed some of them a little bit – best to do this while they are still hot and I then had to leave them to cool before gluing and decorating them.
For “glue” I use melted sugar. Just heat sugar lightly in a pan and dip the edges of the house in it before putting them together.

The frosting is done with confectioner’s sugar (this is made by putting regular sugar in my mixer – it pulverizes in a matter of seconds) an eggwhite and a little bit of lemon extract.

The mixture goes into an oversized ziplock bag that I nip in the corner and then I am ready to decorate.

On the top I attach M&M’s with the melted sugar glue and sometimes I sprinkle candy cane crushed in the mixer to “candy cane flour” to provide some sweet snow.

And there it is…..just waiting for Santa now.

Merry Christmas! God Jul! Best of Holiday Wishes to all of you!
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