Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gingerbread House

This month the Daring Bakers challenge was to make a gingerbread house. I was pretty excited about it since I've made a gingerbread house pretty much every year. I knew this was going to be fun. I really didn't like the recipes that were posted on the Bakers website. The gingerbread was puffy and pale, and there was an added recipe for simple syrup to glue the house together. I decided to go with tried and true recipes for spicy gingerbread and royal icing. I made a double batch of the gingerbread and I used egg whites for the royal icing since that's what I had in the house and no one was going to be eating my gingerbread house anyway, so I wasn't worried about salmonella.
I got the template for my house at the weirdest site. Bob Vila, the This Old House guy! He had very nice plans and different styles of houses you could build with cute and funny instructions. I chose to build a colonial style house. I liked how it had lots of windows.
To build my house I made a double batch of gingerbread and then we got to rolling. I had pre-cut all of the house templates to make it quicker. Paul helped me roll and cut the pieces since I was losing it quickly! I was rolling the dough too thin, so it was breaking when I tried to move it onto the cooking sheet. To make stained glass windows I put some wax paper on the back of the windows and then I crushed up some Lifesavers and put them in the window holes. Once we got all the pieces baked and cooled, it was too late in the day to build the house, so we waited a week to build the house.
I made a batch of royal icing to serve as the glue that held the house together. Assembling the house was pretty easy. I was worried that the roof was going to slide off because it wasn't fitting properly, but once the royal icing hardened it was super strong.
To decorate the house we used Oreo Thinsations for the roof. They were expertly applied by Paul using royal icing to glue them down. I used little chocolate dot thingys for the decorations around the windows and to make a wreath on the door.
We both had a really good time making the house, and we'll probably make another one next year! We already have some ideas for next 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.