Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gingerbread Houses

These are something I make for fun and they vary each time I make them. They are also an art in progress of how best to present them.

225 grams flour
125gr chilled butter
¾ cup of sugar
1 egg (+ egg yolk from decoration)
2 ½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ginger
1 ½ tsp cocoa

Small egg for egg wash

1 egg white (add the yolk to the ginger bread recipe)
Icing sugar
Lollies for decoration

I make this in a food processor but you could do it by hand.
Combine butter and flour until like breadcrumbs.
Add the cocoa and spices.
Lightly whisk together the sugar and eggs and add this to the flour mixture.
Don’t over work the dough.
Roll out onto baking paper about ¼ cm thick. Cut out house shapes. Keep rolling pin and surfaces dusted with flour so they don’t stick and break when you slide them on to a baking paper lined or greased, baking tray.
Lightly whisk a small egg with a fork and brush over gingerbread pieces before they go into the oven. This gives it a glaze and helps it look more like a house.
Bake at 180ÂșC for 15 minutes watching so they don’t burn.
Let cool a little on the tray before you transfer them to the cooling rack.

When cold make up icing.
Whisk the egg white for about 10 seconds so it just gets a bit bubbly not creamy.
Add enough icing sugar to make a sticky paste like glue that has a slight “drippy” consistency but not too runny. (the mixture I made for these houses was a bit too runny)
Join pieces and decorate using lollies.

You can make any size gingerbread house or even just shapes for decorating a tree or as gifts.
If you are making bigger pieces you may need to make them slightly thicker up to ½ cm thick.

I have a little set of cutters which is just a rectangle and a side house shape. It came in a kit through the school book club. The side shape is for the house ends (cut 2) and the rectangles are the two roof pieces, the long sides of the house and a base.(cut 5) I tend to flatten the base slightly before it is baked to make it a little bit bigger than the other pieces.

I sometimes just decorate the outside of the house with the icing and fill the house with sweet treats before I put the roof on.

I have made a big house at Christmas but it never got eaten as people just picked the lollies off, which is part of the fun. It was also that there was so much food over the festive season it sort of lost its appeal. This way everyone has their own house and treats and it has become our winter season treat.

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