Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Little Houses

We made little gingerbread houses just before Christmas. I thought I had posted this, but apparently I forgot. I'm not really sure what made me decide to do this since the last time we made gingerbread houses it was a disaster. This year I was a little smarter. Hopefully this will help someone else out in the future.
GingerbreadHouseI used Martha Stewart's recipe for Gingerbread Snowflakes.  It was the perfect amount for six little houses.
HouseI made a little template. The roof pieces measured 3"x2 1/2". The wall is 2 1/2" by 2" and the house is a little more difficult to figure but the width is 4" and from the bottom to the tip on top it is 4 1/2". Good luck with the rest. ;)
House1Cut out two of every piece for one house. You can even cut out cute little doors if you want.
House2Lay them neatly on your cookie sheets.
House3Bake them until they are just brown. One of our houses is a little crispy. :)
House6We made a total of six houses. One for each child. Do you think they all decorated them?
House15I'm not engineer, so I challenged Jared into putting all the houses together. I highly recommend doing this the night before, so you won't have to wait for the icing to dry. That was my mistake last time.
House8It takes quite a lot of patience and glue (icing).
House9Don't be afraid to pour on the icing.
House10It's just like glue when it dries.
House11Steady now!
House12You can even stick extra glue all around, just to be safe. Let it sit overnight and these houses will be solid. Stay tuned...

Gingerbread Houses/Snowflake Cookie
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 large eggs
1 cup unsulfured molasses
Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into snowflakes with a 7- inch snowflake-shape cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Royal Icing
3 egg whites
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons of water

Using the whisk attachment beat egg whites and powdered sugar for 5-7 minutes on medium to high speed. Add water to desired consistency. For this particular project I kept the icing on the thicker side.

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