Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gingerbread House

On Christmas Eve while my mam was making her Mince Pies, which are such a family tradition to be cooked while watching Carols by Candlelight another Christmas tradition was being born.... the Gingerbread House. 

I used to make one most years when the kids were little but I do admit it has now been some years.  Alexandria asked for one last year but time was against us so this year I did everything I could not to disappoint her again and so our house was mixed, baked and decorated.

PS there is NO ProPoint value for this recipe - DANGER BEWARE!!

Gingerbread House
(Recipe sourced from The Essentials Christmas Cookbook)

250 grams softened unsalted butter
2/3 cup soft brown sugar
1/2 cup golden syrup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
5 cups plain flour, sifted
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
additional flour (for kneading)
1 egg white
2 1/4 cups pure icing sugar
sweets/lollies of your choice and quantity

Place butter, brown sugar and golden syrup in a bowl and beat until light and creamy.

Gradually add eggs, beating thoroughly after each additon.

Sift flour, ground ginger and bicarbnate of soda into the bowl and stir until combined.  Bring the dough together with your hands, turn it out onto a well floured work suface and knead until smooth.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile cut a paper pattern for each part of the house. 

The pattern for the house is as follows:
~ 2 x sides - 10 x 20 cms
~ 2 x roof  - 18 x 20 cms
~ 2 x ends - 16 x 22 cms (measure 10 cms down the length to form two rectangles - measure 8cms     accross the length of the smallest rectangle then draw diagonal lines to make a triangle and cut off the corners giving you the peaked house ends)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper, in batches, to 5 mm thick.  Using the paper templates as a guide cut house pieces (ensuring you have two of everything).  If you would like windows or a door cut these out now.

Line baking trays with baking paper.  Gently lift the pieces onto the trays and refrigerate for a further 20 minutes.

Bake each tray for 12 minuts each.  Set aside to cool.

For stained glass windows - crush assorted coloured boiled lollies and fill the cut out windows after cooking for 7 minutes.  This will allow them to melt together but not burn.

To make the icing, place 1 egg white in a bowl and gradulally add sifted icing sugar until you have a smooth mixture which will stay in place when piped.  If it is too runny add more icing sugar.

Assemble the house by joining the front and sides together with a piped line of icing and leave to dry.  Add the back of the house in the same way, hold for a few minutes and then leave to dry.  Decorate the outside seams of the house with more icing to strengthen.  Ensure house is dry and sturdy before decorating with lollies.

Decorate the house with sweets/lollies by attaching with icing.

Note - the quantity of gingerbread mixture will make approximately 30 gingerbread people.

(Click here for a printable copy of this recipe)

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