Daring Bakers in December: Gingerbread House

December 25, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Posted in cookies & bars, daring bakers, groups, other sweet, sweet things | 20 Comments

gingerbread house

Welcome to my home– my gingerbread home!  Let me show you around inside.  It’s nothing fancy.  Just four walls and some spackling.  Oh, and mind your head…the roof has quite a slope.

Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi had us break out our hard hats and toolboxes to construct our very own gingerbread houses for this month’s Daring Bakers’ challenge!  As a result, I’m sure you’ll tour some ultra tricked-out gingerbread houses around Food Blog Avenue this Christmas.  Mine’s more of a cottage, really…some may say a shack…but I’m quite pleased with it.  And it’s now over two weeks old, so I know it’s solidly built!

I used the Scandinavian Gingerbread recipe provided by Y, found an easy template, and started construction.  I needed just half a recipe of dough, and I actually added a spoonful of cocoa powder to it, just to make the color a bit darker.  Some windows, a sanding sugar snowstorm and a wreath out front, and I was a proud homeowner in just a few hours!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and I’m sure I’ll see you again before the new year!

gingerbread house

Scandinavian Gingerbread (Pepparkakstuga)
adapted from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas

1 cup butter, room temperature [226g]
1 cup brown sugar, well packed [220g]
2 tablespoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ cup boiling water
5 cups all-purpose flour [875g]

-In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until blended. Add the cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix the baking soda with the boiling water and add to the dough along with the flour. Mix to make a stiff dough. If necessary add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Chill 2 hours or overnight.

-Cut patterns for the house, making patterns for the roof, front walls, gabled walls, chimney and door out of cardboard.

-Roll the dough out on a large, ungreased baking sheet and place the patterns on the dough. Mark off the various pieces with a knife, but leave the pieces in place.

-Roll out the dough on a floured bench, roughly 1/8 inch thick (which allows for fact that the dough puffs a little when baked), cut required shapes and transferred these to the baking sheet.  You can save any scraps to reroll at the end.

-Preheat the oven to 375′F (190′C). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the cookie dough feels firm. After baking, again place the pattern on top of the gingerbread and trim the shapes, cutting the edges with a straight-edged knife. Leave to cool on the baking sheet.

Royal Icing

1 large egg white
3 cups (330g) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon almond extract

-Beat all ingredients until smooth, adding the powdered sugar gradually to get the desired consistency. Pipe on pieces and allow to dry before assembling. If you aren’t using it all at once you can keep it in a small bowl, loosely covered with a damp towel for a few hours until ready to use. You may have to beat it slightly to get it an even consistency if the top sets up a bit. Piped on the house, this will set up hard over time.

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

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20 Comments »

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  1. So … ummm … is your home for sale? ‘Cause I’m looking for a cute property!!!

    Adorable! Merry Christmas, Steph, and Happy New Year!

  2. Your house looks very pretty. Merry Christmas!

  3. A belated merry Christmas to you too! Cottage or shack, your humble abode looks great!

  4. Merry Christmas! That’s some beautiful piping work on your house – I hope you have much fun tearing it down =D

  5. What a pretty gingerbread house! I love the shape. :)
    Merry Christmas!!

  6. You did such a fabulous job on the house!

    Hope you had a very Merry Christmas and a good holidays!

  7. Simple but sweet.
    Happy Holidays!

  8. This is adorable! And I’m thrilled for a new gingerbread recipe :) Happy holidays!!

  9. Adorable gingerbread house! I love the wreath above the door. Congrats on the challenge and Merry Christmas!

  10. Your house is adorable! Less is more a lot of the time, and I admire the beautifully piped icing decorations as much as the candy-laden tests of structural integrity :)

  11. 4 walls and spackling? NOT! There’s no way you can call this a mere shack either! I love the tall roof, and that piped wreath is a beautiful touch. :) Hope you had a beautiful Christmas, Steph!

  12. This is really lovely Steph! Love the decorations and the house looks just beautiful. Have a Blesses Xmas and New Year!

  13. Very cute your house! I love that shape, makes the house very elegant!

  14. Just beautiful. I love your roof and the wreath above the door. Hope you had a great Christmas

  15. Steph what a precious looking house! Just perfect! Hope you had a grand Xmas!

  16. Definitely a beautiful and reserved house – love it! Maybe next year I should try something like yours!

  17. I love how elegant yours turned out – gorgeous!

  18. Just adorable:) love the wreath!

  19. Gorgeous! I love the simplicity of your house. It’s very elegant!

  20. Fabulous! My gingerbread house didn’t end up so successful… Hot glue gun to the rescue! haha (: Awesome job!


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