Something that's been on my Christmas Bucket List forever has been to make a gingerbread house from scratch. Why? Who knows. That's how I roll ( pun intended).
I've had fun decorating the pre-made kits before but I just had this need to make one from start to finish. It was MUCH easier than I thought. If you can bake a cookie, you can bake a gingerbread house.
- Gingerbread Cookie Dough
- Royal Icing
- Piping Bags / Tips
- Whatever you want to use to decorate your house. I used candy wafers.
I started by finding a template. I used the one found here:
And of course you need dough. I used this recipe which I doubled :
Here's how it went:
I followed the recipe instructions and used a heavy hand on the spices. The dough was crumbly at first but quickly creamed up .
Roll out your dough ( I don't know why it looks so dark in this picture) and then cut your pieces using the template. I rolled out thick pieces for sturdy construction!
Bake per recipe and don't worry about flaws in your dough because that's what icing's for!
After all my pieces were baked, I let them cool for several hours. I made my royal icing ( per directions on meringue powder container) very thick. I wanted it to be able to support the front/back and sides and I could always thin it with a little water. Success! It stood up from the first two corners.
I went around the sides inside and out with a good amount of icing. I also decided that I wanted to decorate the roof before I put it on. I planned on letting the pieces sit overnight so that the house would be very solid once I put the roof on.
I decided to keep things simple since I was still unsure whether this was all going to come together. I did a diamond pattern with the icing, and I'd baked buttons from scrap dough which I topped with candy melts as shown.
The roof pieces went on and the whole thing didn't cave in! Happy dance ensued ( away from the gingerbread house so I didn't accidentally smash it).
While looking for ideas for my house, I saw that some bakers made little gingerbread vignettes. With some dough leftover, I thought I'd give this a shot as well so my house has a tree next to it.
Place a glob of royal icing on your base, let set until firm but not hard, and then stand your tree up. I'm thinking next year I may do a few of these in lieu of a house. Or in addition to. OK let's be honest...definitely in addition to.
I also made a door and a doormat and using more of the cookie buttons made a couple of wreaths. I used royal icing to attach which is what I also used to attach the candy melt decorations.