Home Sweet Home: A Gingerbread House

 

I just finished my very first gingerbread house! It was also my first Daring Bakers’ Challenge! It was A LOT more work than I expected.  But it was REALLY fun. I want to build another one next year.  Maybe a castle! I LOVED sleeping in my house.  I had sweet dreams all night long!

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Model House

Model House

Check out the view

Check out the view

What I Did

  • Day 1: Make a cardboard pattern. This is so you know you have all the pieces and they all fit together.
    Day 2: Make the gingerbread dough, roll the dough, cut out the pieces by following the template, bake and trim the pieces.
  • Day 3: Make the windows: Smash Jolly Ranchers with a hammer. Place small piles on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until melted, about 5 minutes. Let cool, then break into the size you need.
  • Day 4: Attach windows with Royal Icing and decorate the sides of the house.
  • Day 5: Put the walls together using LOTS of Royal Icing
  • Day 6: Put on the roof using more Royal Icing. Make sure it’s DRY before you start decorating the roof!
  • Day 7: Add landscaping. I used Peppermint Leaves for the bushes, Jelly Bellies for the path, and gingerbread pine trees.
Peekaboo!

Peekaboo!

Scandinavian Gingerbread (Pepparkakstuga)

I modified a recipe from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Earth Balance, room temperature [226g]
  • 1 cup brown sugar, well packed [220g]
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ cup water
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour [875g]

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream the Earth Balance and sugar until blended. Add the cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix the baking soda with the water and add to the dough along with the flour. Mix to make a stiff dough. If necessary add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Chill 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Cut patterns for the house, making patterns for the roof, front walls, gabled walls, and door out of cardboard.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Roll the dough out on a large, ungreased baking sheet and place the patterns on the dough. Mark off the various pieces with a knife, but leave the pieces in place.  I rolled out the dough about 1/4 inch thick (I should have rolled it thinner.  It was very puffy.  Some of the pieces didn’t fit right after baking.  I had to cut them. Cutting gingerbread is HARD WORK!).
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the cookie dough feels firm. After baking, again place the pattern on top of the gingerbread and trim the shapes, cutting the edges with a straight-edged knife. Leave to cool on the baking sheet.
Baking is done

Baking is done

Vegan Royal Icing:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Versawhip 600
  • 3 cups (330g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Beat all ingredients until smooth, adding the powdered sugar gradually to get the desired consistency.
  2. Pipe on pieces and hold together for a few minutes to allow icing to harden.
  3. If you aren’t using it all at once you can keep it in a small bowl with a tight fitting lid. It does not need to be refrigerated.
  4. Icing can be colored by adding a few drops of food coloring with the powdered sugar.  Make sure you have enough. It is very hard to match the color if you run out and need to make a new batch! I came too close to running out several times!
I needed 4 batches of icing!

I needed 4 batches of icing!

  1. Kelly says:

    Awesome job for your first DB Challenge! Very detailed

  2. admin says:

    Thanks! It was fun!

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