Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread HousesChristmas has to be one of my favourite times of year all the baking and cooking and smells and tastes, oh my happy heart! One of my favourite things has to be making gingerbread houses with my son. Once a year I bring out the sugar, an exception to my rule. If you’ve been following me, you’ll know I prefer to keep my recipes clean. While this recipe is gluten free, I do use organic sugar. The small gingerbread house gets divided by 30 or so people on Christmas day- which means it is not a huge amount of sugar consumed. It has become somewhat of a tradition in our house, with us making these every year for the last 6 years now. My son always makes for his school teacher as a thank you gift and then we make for Christmas for our family and one to give away to some lucky and unsuspecting friends, neighbours, or family.

It’s not only good fun making them and being creative with your little house, but really neat to have on display for Christmas. Your friends and family will be super impressed and most definitely envious.

You may notice the recipe is the same recipe I use for the Rudolph biscuits. One batch should make one Gingerbread house with some dough to spare. For the templates, I suggest browsing good old google there are plenty of free templates, or if you’re feeling bold, draw up a template of your own.

You will need:

  • Biscuit Dough
  • Royal Icing
  • wax paper for piping bags
  • Treats to decorate your house with.

Lets get baking!

Biscuit dough Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup organic sugar

2tsp baking powder

2tsp ground ginger

1tsp salt

1tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 cup dark molasses

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons white vinegar

5 cups gluten free (or all purpose flour)

*You will also need Royal icing for the decorating and cementing of the house together! And piping bags, have a look below as to how I fold my piping bags using wax/baking paper, and a pair of scissors.

Method:

*pre-heat the oven to 180C

1. Combine the shortening and sugar in the bowl of electric mixer; beat on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add the baking powder, ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves. Beat until incorporated.

2. Add the molasses, eggs, and vinegar; beat until smooth. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time; mix on low until smooth. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap; press into a rough square. Wrap tightly; refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. (this is great if you want to prep the dough ahead of time)20161120_105250-011

3. Roll out the dough to your desired thickness (remember not too thin as the walls and roofs need to be structurally sound.) and cut out your gingerbread house templates.

gingerbread templates

4. Bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes.

5. Once the biscuit pieces have cooled you can begin the creative process of decorating the roof and sides of the house. I like to lay it out in front of me and plan what’s what before getting stuck in.decorating gingerbread houses

6. After all the pieces have been decorated and have dried, you can begin to assemble to the house, starting with the front and sides and adding the roof on last.

20161120_153528-011

Start by icing the sides and bottom of the house and gluing them together with the royal icing. It’s best to let the four walls set as a structure before you even consider adding the roof on. This takes time and patience, but it’s totally worth it in the end.  We use tea cups to hold the sides in place if need be. gingerberah house structure

So this is a big job, but so much fun to do. Give yourselves a morning or afternoon, take your time and enjoy it. Better yet, have a gingerbread making party!  What I love about these is how well they keep. We wrap ours up in cellophane and tie them with a pretty ribbon for gifting and to keep little fingers out. 😉

Please tag me in your pics, or even pop me a mail if you need help or have questions. Hope your festive season has got off to a great start!

Love and health,

“Mama Wolf” x

P.S. If you enjoyed this post and you want to receive more like it, subscribe to my newsletter where I also share other interesting articles and healthy tips for living life…naturally.