Gingerbread House 2016

My Gingerbread House for 2016 is finished, all it needs is a sprinkling of icing sugar on Christmas day.

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I love making gingerbread houses so much that I start looking for inspiration almost 12 months early. This year I did a bit of a last minute (2 months before Christmas) switch changing to this design to go with this years Christmas theme of nutcrackers.

This recipe is more of a Christmas spiced gingerbread, last for a long time and makes your whole house smell amazing.

Ingredients

600g Plain flour
1 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
4 tsp ground ginger
3 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground cloves
185g butter (room temp)
290g treacle
130g brown sugar

Method

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix together until well combined ( if using a stand mixer, which I suggest, use the dough attachment). Once combined and a dough has formed press together into a ball and divide into 4 manageable pieces. Refrigerate for 1 hr (this dough can be made ahead and frozen).

Roll out dough on a floured surface or in between baking sheets  until it is 1/2 cm (1/5th of an inch) thick and cut into desired shapes (cookies, house shapes)

I construct a cardboard house first and use the cardboard cutouts as a template for my gingerbread.

Bake at 170˚C (350˚F) for 12 mins or until just cooked, it will not have much colour, but you will be able to smell that its done and it shouldn’t be completely soft when touched.

Ice the back of your house blocks, with a thin layer of royal icing, and allow to dry completely, this helps give strength to your gingerbread house whilst still allowing you to have soft delicious gingerbread.

If you are doing windows melt sugar,  glucose, and water (corn syrup is fine) over medium heat until sugar reaches hard crack temperature ( 146˚C 295˚F)and pour onto a baking sheet, you need to keep your windows seperate as it is very hard to cut the sugar without cracking it once it goes hard. 3 parts sugar, 1 part glucose, and 1/2 part water, full amounts depend on how many windows you have ( I used 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup glucose, 1/4 cup water).

Stick your windows onto the back of your walls with royal icing.

Once everything is dry you can start to decorate your gingerbread, have fun do whatever you want, use lollies (candy), royal icing, anything edible.

Now that your house blocks are decorated and dry you can join them together using more royal icing, and hold them in position using heavy jars or cans. I recommend putting the walls together first, allowing to dry completely and then attaching the roof. You may need to place something under the roof to shop it from slipping off your house whilst it is drying.

Now you house is complete, all there is to do is a little landscaping… you can add lights to your house if you have a hole in the bottom of your board inside your house (it is easiest to do this before you put your house together.

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Have fun building your house 🙂

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