Bre is our featured guest blogger for today and when she contacted me about showing off how her family makes homemade gingerbread houses I couldn’t have been more pleased to feature it. I had never successfully made one before (picture the scene from The Three Little Pigs when the house was blown down by the wolf… you get the picture for what happened to ours). Leave her a nice note in the comments section… I’m sure it would make her day!
Hi everyone! My name is Bre and I blog over at ~rooms FOR rent~.
I am so excited to be here today, sharing gingerbread houses with all of you.
This is such a fun christmas treat to make, and hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
Making gingerbread houses has always been a part of our family holiday tradition, going back to when I was two.
It was always something that we fondly looked forward to, and most of our friends as well.
We always had a full house and a full day involved, and no detail was spared.
Today I’m going to share with you the recipe my grandmother always made, a dedicated cake decorator for more than 30 years. Her house always smelled of yummy treats, but nothing beats the smell of freshly baked gingerbread, especially at Christmas.
For me, growing up, it wasn’t Christmas unless gingerbread houses were involved, and last year I got to start the tradition all over again, with my family. And thankfully, my grandmother is still able to be apart of that tradition, and sharing the joy with her great-grandchildren 😉
I hope you enjoy, as our family has for so many years!
1 Cup Crisco
1 Cup Sugar
1 cup molasses
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
5 1/2 cups of flour
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
Cream crisco and sugar. Add egg and molasses.
Sift together all dry ingredients; add gradually to creamed mixture.
The last half of the flour may have to be mixed in by hand, if heavy duty mixer is not used.
If mixture is too dry to roll out easily, add a bit more molasses or a little water.
Dampen work surface slightly, and place a piece of aluminum foil (approx. size of your cookie sheet) on the dampened surface – to keep it from sliding while you’re rolling out the dough.
Sprinkle foil with a little flour, and roll out about 1/4 of the dough to approx. 1/8″ thickness.
Place pattern cut outs on dough and trace with a knife.
Then carefully remove excess dough, leaving cut outs revealed on foil.
Slide the foil with the cut out dough onto your cookie sheet.
Bake @ 300 degrees for approx. 20 minutes or until nicely browned.
Remove from oven and slide the foil onto countertop to cool baked dough.
Cookie sheet is then free for next batch!
5 tbs. meringue powder
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. cream of tartar
powdered sugar (as needed)
Beat until frothy.
Add powdered sugar until right consistency of stiff peaks is achieved.
Icing must be covered at all times, for it dries rapidly!
Use only royal frosting when doing gingerbread items.
Grammy and Carter “testing” to make sure frosting has proper stiffness 🙂
Carter’s sign of approval… “It’s good!”
Prepare board or cardboard base. Cover with foil, then cover with frosting
to simulate snow.
Decide where house is to be placed on board, hold two pieces together, and run frosting up the inside corner to hold them together.
Hold for a moment to allow frosting to slightly harden, then do the same thing with the the third piece.
Once all four pieces are constructed and joined together, the fun can began!
If you would like to place anything inside the house (christmas trees, gingerbread men, etc.) now is the time to do it, before you put the roof on.
Go over all the exterior joints with frosting, adding candy to the soft frosting, as desired.
We chose mini-candy canes 🙂
It’s a bit easier to decorate the sides of the house and your front door before
the roof is added, so have fun decorating with whatever
types of candy you choose.
And no front door is complete without a doorknob
These edible little silver balls do the trick!
To attach the roof, start with one side, running frosting along the edges facing you.
Once one is in place, repeat and do the same on the opposite side. Hold in place for a few minutes so roof pieces don’t slide off. If they do (and they have before) add more frosting, and hold in place for a longer period of time.
Once secure, now you can decorate!
There are so many different ways to decorate the roof, and with a wide variety of candy options.
The possibilities are endless! We chose a frosting lattice, accompanied with alternating M&M’s.
Once the roof is done,
feel free to decorate any other areas of the house.
We added wreaths, garland, a gum drop chimney, complete with chocolate santa, and finished things off with a pretzel fence.
And before you know it, you have a completely decorated house!
This was always a favorite of mine to do as a kid, and as an adult, and I’m so glad I can now share the tradition, and make these with my kids!
Have fun Baking!
And a special thanks to Jen for having us be apart of her 12 Days of Christmas!