the gingerbread house tradition

Gingerbread houses equals Christmas tradition time in our house.

I wanted to share the joy this year so i invited 5 of our children’s friends/cousins over, that makes 8 kids under 14.  Spent the day yesterday baking 16 roof panels, 16 ends and 16 walls and a few extras.  The house smelled so wonderful the entire day, it took quite a while to bake so many.

The satisfaction of seeing 8 children smiling and little snow-covered gingerbread cottages completed was priceless. Thanks to my sister for her help, that too is priceless.

 i love my kids and loved spoiling them and their friends for the day, going to bed tonight with a happy heart. 

Each house was so different, love kids creativity.  We snowed on them with icing sugar and wrapped them in clear cellophane for transportation and storage.

three little cottages that lie at our house have not yet been attacked by hungry lips, wonder how long they will last.

Here’s the recipe:

Gingerbread Houses

The gingerbread house can be assembled up to 3 days ahead.  Gingerbread is best baked a day before assembly.

Ingredients for Gingerbread (makes 2-3 medium sized houses)

100g butter, chopped

½ cup brown sugar (firmly packed)

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 cups plain flour

½ cup self-raising flour

1 teaspoon bicarb soda

3 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon cardamom

Lollies for decoration

Icing sugar (extra to quantity listed below)

Ingredients for icing

2 egg whites

4 cups sifted icing sugar (or more)

½ teaspoon lemon juice

Gingerbread Method

  1. Cut paper templates for gingerbread house.
  2. Combine butter, sugar, and syrup in pan, stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted.  Cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Stir in egg and the sifted dry ingredients.
  4. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until it loses its stickiness.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours or until dough is firm.
  5. Roll dough on lightly floured surface until 5 mm thick, cut shapes from dough using your template, rerolling as necessary. 
  6. Place shapes on greased oven trays, bake in moderately hot oven about 10 mins or until lightly browned, (what a wonderful aroma).  Stand on trays 5 minutes before placing on a cooling rack to cool.

Method for Icing

  1. Beat egg whites in a small bowl with electric mixer until just frothy.  Gradually beat in enough sifted icing sugar until mixture until stiff peaks form; stir in juice.  Cover unused portions with a tea towel to prevent drying out.  Fill piping bag with icing (we have used snaplock bags with a small corner cut off).
  2. Cover a thick card or a board with aluminium foil large enough to hold the house.  Assemble house on board, using piped icing like glue to secure pieces together. (I insert dress makers pins to hold it together while it is setting and removed before I wrap it.) Decorate with lollies using icing as glue.
  3. When house is complete, lightly dust with icing sugar as snow.
  4.  Seal well by wrapping in clear cellophane and using plenty of sticky tape, tie with ribbon at the top (will keep for a few weeks but watch for ants who like to get in).
  5. Eat.


One thought on “the gingerbread house tradition

  1. Kellie says:

    looks fabulous! i dont think we will fit a christmas themed craft club in before christmas but i might just have to whip up one of these on a day off! you are fabulous!

    Kel x


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