It’s finally the Christmas season. I will admit I’m one of those that gets excited when the stores start putting Christmas out even though it isn't’ even Halloween. I bought Trudi some ornaments I found the first of Oct. They were perfect for her tree so I had to do it. Then every time I go to a store I go through the Christmas isles again and again. As I cleaned house on the Mon. before Thanksgiving I figured I might as well put fall away and Christmas out as I took things off to dust. I LOVE Christmas!!!!
One of our family traditions is making gingerbread houses. I am going to make them with the grandkids this year. But since they all live a ways apart we will be doing it multiple times. I’m so excited, it will be so much fun.
Over the years we’ve found a few tricks which has made it simpler that I’d like to share with you today.
When rolling out the dough roll it on parchment paper. Cut out the pieces, take the extras off and pick up the parchment paper and place on a cookie sheet to bake. Years ago I found Gingerbread House Cookie cutters which are wonderful for making a small basic house.
After the gingerbread pieces have cooled they are ready to assemble.
I use around a cup of white sugar to start, you can always add more and remelt. Place in a frying pan and cook on medium heat till it melts. It will turn a dark golden brown. When it is all melted turn the heat to the lowest setting just to keep it from turning hard. If it does go hard then just turn up the heat and re-melt it.
Now carefully dip the side of the house into the melted sugar and quickly attach it to the front. The sugar will cool quickly and harden, gluing the 2 pieces together. It works just like hot glue. Continue to repeat till the house is fully assembled. If the piece will not fit in the pan use a spoon to carefully drizzle where you need it. Remember it is hot! Yes I usually burn me at least once each time I do this. Also if you have any drips they will be covered with decorations and frosting so don’t worry about them.
Now the part the grandkids get to help with DECORATING the houses. Use Royal Icing. Always mix in a glass or metal bowl and remember to beat at least 10 minutes. If after 10 minutes it is still a little soft just add more powered sugar till it is a little stiff.
Cover a piece of cardboard with aluminum foil and you’re ready to start decorating. Pipe the edges and sides adding candy, cereal, sprinkles. pretzels or anything else you might think of. Just be creative and have fun. Add trees (sometimes we use the peep trees and sometimes we do gingerbread ones), fences, paths, etc. Just remember to have a great time.
The finished house and one excited child!RECIPES I USED