Gingerbread houses, Christmas music, the thought of Michael Buble popping by to jazz up my day and the kids decorating our little treats with smiles and love enhance Christmas into it’s fullness of life for me! So every year we make gingerbread houses, and the scene unfolds….. except for Michael arriving! This recipe makes 2 medium houses, 1 large house and 1 small house (or as we have done this year, a dog house)! So if you only want one large, half the quantities. Or it makes 5 medium houses (so each child can have their own individual one if you like)! Enjoy this magical time of year! Celebrate the birth of the Lord by filling your home and heart with Christmas memories, and this is a memory making recipe!!
250 g butter
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup treacle
2 egg yolks – and keep the whites for the icing
5 cups plain flour
3 tbs ground ginger
2 tsp bi carb soda
2 egg whites – from above for icing 3 cups icing sugar for icing
Lots of lollies!!
Method Cream the butter, sugar, treacle and yolk. Then add sifted flour little by little. Add the ginger and bi-carb too. Divide the mixture and knead well. Add more flour if it is too sticky. Set aside and cut patterns for the gingerbread house.
Roll dough out onto bake paper until about 5-7mm thick. Lay your patterns on top and use a knife to cut the edges off. You need 2 of each pattern! Bake the parts for around 20 minutes on 170 degrees celcius, but check after 15 minutes – it all depends on the thickness of your dough! Leftover dough can be used to make gingerbread men, shapes, christmas trees for the front yard of your house, whatever you desire! Bake small shapes like that at 170 degrees for about 10 minutes and cool on wire racks.
Royal icing Mix egg whites with an electric mixer, gradually adding the icing sugar. Mix on high until the icing is at a consistency of being able to have some on a spoon and it not slip off.
Assembly You need a large plate or a foil board. Use icing to ‘glue’ the house together with some on each end that touches another end. I also cut a couple of inches off a paper towel roll cardboard thingy and place it inside to help the roofs.
Before applying the roof wait fifteen minutes to let the sides and ends settle. To get the icicle affect run some of the royal icing over the end of each outer edge and then put the knife side-on back on the underneath side of the icing and pull down, pulling the icing gently with you. Repeat everywhere you want the icicles!
To fasten sweets onto the house use the royal icing as glue! We use a range of treats each year but the kids seem to always choose smarties and freckles! Some years they’ve used all sorts of things; freckles, small balls, milk bottles, liquorice! I always dust with icing sugar at the end to make it look like snow! Enjoy your creation, and have fun with the smash up and eating!!