Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's a matter of.....a Gingerbread House

It's a time-honored tradition for Christmas.....a Gingerbread House. Today I will provide you with a classic Gingerbread house recipe etc from the Relief Society Magazine that was published in 1967. I have fond memories of my Grandmother and mother using this very same recipe and pattern during the holidays and I have tried to continue this tradition with my children. Enjoy it!

Gingerbread House
(Taken from the December 1967 Relief Society Magazine)

2 ¾ C sifted flour
1 egg
1/8 tsp cloves
½ tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1/3 C Brown Sugar
1 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Cinnamon (packed)
2/3 C Molasses
½ C Oil

Mix thoroughly.
Roll dough on an oiled piece of foil, place on cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
Place pattern on hot bread and cut immediately. Use a sharp knife. The straighter you cut the pieces, the easier your house will be to put together.

Lift out carefully and cool on cake rake (I leave mine on the cookie sheet until they are cool…and that works also). The gingerbread should be very hard when cool. If necessary, the pieces can be laid back on the cookie sheet and placed in the oven for 5-10 minutes longer. The roof sections will break off if the dough is not thoroughly baked.

Here is how to actually make it once the dough is mixed:

Cover Cardboard or a piece of wood with foil. Tape ends under board.

Line pan with foil. Spray foil with non-stick spray. Roll Gingerbread dough evenly in pan. Bake

While still warm, lay out pattern. Cut all pieces. Let Gingerbread cool.

Take Pieces off the cookie sheet and lay out on counter.

Divide all your candies into cups so that they are accessible to you. I often purchase my candies from the bulk candy bins and I don't need full bags of everything....unless you and your children like to snack on them!

Start decorating the individual pieces. Here, is the Roof. I am using Necco candies as if they are shingles. You could use Shredded wheat if you wish to have a thatched roof. Sometimes I will make a diagonal lines and put candies at the intersections. Be creative and make it your own.

Here is a side piece.

And the back.

Here is the front. Do not put frosting on the doorway...yet.

It's time to construct. Put one side and the front together with your Royal Frosting. The Frosting acts as your glue to hold them together. If this is your first time at putting pieces together, use cans or cups to provide support as you put them together. I often will place a bead of frosting on the bottom and the side that you are attaching, then put the pieces together.

Once the pieces are attached, cover the edges with the frosting, be generous as this not only holds the pieces together, but allows you to put pieces of candy on the joint as well.

After all 4 walls have been “glued” together:
Run as “zigzag” bead/thread of frosting on the top of the house to receive the roof.

After both pieces have been placed, run a bead of frosting to connect the 2 roof pieces. Secondly, run another bead to receive candies etc for decoration.

Once you get all the sides and roof on, it's time to decorate the doorway.

Next, decorate the door and the opening. After running a bead of frosting along the side and bottom of the door, put the door in place. Place the door in the “ajar” position. Run frosting around the other raw edges. Decorate with candy, if desired.

Finish the rough edges on the “front” of the house. I used pretzels to make a fence. Make a walkway from rock candy, or flat candy.

Now, in case you do not have a recipe for Royal it is!

Royal Icing

3 Egg Whites (room temperature)
1 lb Confectioner’s sugar
½ tsp of Cream of Tarter

•Beat thoroughly in mixing bowl until the icing stands in peaks (sometimes 5-10 minutes).
•Keep the bowl covered at all times with a damp cloth as this icing dries quickly and becomes hard.
•A #4 decorator tip is recommended for drawing the windows and a #30 tip for covering the cut edges along the sides of the house, along the roof, etc.

Try this time honored

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