Tuesday, December 9, 2008

ginger bread houses

Last year, while we were visiting MD for Christmas, my mom bought these gingerbread house cookie cutters from William and Sonoma. They proved more difficult to use than we anticipated, but we brought them home with plans to pull them out and try again.
I found a new recipe for gingerbread and royal icing and yesterday we pulled out the cookie cutters to try again. The new recipe (and a few new techniques) seemed to do the trick. I rolled the dough out very thin (about 1/8inch) right on my silicone mats and then cut out the pieces. I also put the cut pieces in the fridge for 15 minutes before baking.
We made two houses, one for me and one for the kids, but there was probably enough dough that I could have made one for each of us (5), as these houses are not too big. I used the rest of the dough to make gingerbread men and house shaped cookies that we will decorate tomorrow. The cookies are okay, a bit bland, but I am sure a bit of icing and a hot cup of tea will make all the difference!
Here is the recipe I used:

Gingerbread House Recipe

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1-1/3 cups molasses
4 eggs
8-10 cups all-purpose flour, divided (I think I used about 9.5 cups)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the molasses and eggs.
3. Combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, baking soda, salt, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger; beat into the molasses mixture.
4. Gradually stir in the remaining flour one cup at a time to form a stiff dough.
5. On silicone mat, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

1/4 Cup pasteurized egg whites

3-4 cups powdered confectioner’s sugar, or enough to get a good consistency, not too runny.

Directions: beat until nice foamy stiff peaks form.

I put my icing into a decorators bag and used a small tip to squeeze it out, but you could use a Ziploc back with the corner cut off as well.


chickadee@afamiliarpath said...

those are so cute! i love gingerbread houses.

Sherri said...

Definitely better than last years!

Anonymous said...

WOW! I just buy the kit ~blush~ How cute! And what a memory!!

Looks like you're having lots of fun lately.

Are those dresses from Costco? We have very similar ones from last year.

Anonymous said...

Merry CHRISTmas!

amy said...

Yes, the dresses are from Costco, a present from Grammy this year :)


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