Showing posts with label Baking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baking. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Bucket List: Gingerbread House From Scratch

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. 

  • Template
  • 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. 

All those years of being too intimidated to try this? Gone. So glad I did it. You never know until you try right?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lazy Person's Chocolate Croissants

Chocolate Puff Pastry

I made these last week and now Mr. Chocolate wants me to make them all the time. I call them the lazy person’s croissant because you are not making the pastry from scratch. They are fast, easy, and yummy!

For these "fauxsants au chocolat" you will need:
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Powdered Sugar
I just used store brand puff pastry. You can find it in the frozen aisle at the grocery store. The longest part of making these is thawing the pasty dough out which takes about 40 minutes.

Puff Pastry

Roll out your thawed pastry. It’ll come folded in thirds.

Rolled Out Puff Pastry

Roll out on a lightly floured surface then cut into strips.

Puff Pastry Strips

Roll out each of your strips a little more and sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips onto each strip.

Puff Pastry Chocolate Filling

Fold the pastry over the chocolate chips and then again.

Folded Chocolate Puff Pastry

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Chocolate Filled Puff Pastries