Gingham and Steel Bakes! Episode 8 – Gingerbread House
We’re a little belated, but here’s the Christmas episode of Gingham and Steel Bakes! Episode 8 – Gingerbread House! Recipe and notes after the episode:
OMG I was mortified when I realized the icing had gone everywhere. I’m glad my editor cut away from my face at that moment, because I was NOT PLEASED. Honestly, I feel like almost every episode has had some major mishap, though I don’t think that’s a bad thing. (“I’m relatable! We all make mistakes, right?!”) Definitely part of helping me grow.
On a similarly disappointed note, I was frustrated to have yet another technical misadventure, involving cameras stopping recording due to space running out. Which is why there are some awfully awkward shots where I’m talking off camera…because the other one had turned off and I hadn’t known! I’m trying not to be too hard on myself, though – filming soloing is SIGNIFICANTLY harder than having a dedicated cameraperson. Lessons learned, as usual.
But on the good side, I loved my little gingerbread house! It sat on our kitchen table the whole month of December and cheered me up every time I ate dinner. The roof was probably my favorite part. Heavy AF, but my goodness, did it look adorable. Although really, who decorates with that many Christmas lights on the roof??
Next time, I would ice the tray (snowy lawn!) before putting the house together. I realized that after the house was already mostly assembled, and I was largely out of icing, so it looked a little naked, but the little pathways were cute. Also I am obsessed with those green shrubs. Definitely one of my favorite Christmas treats. Not shown: the shot where I’m happily biting off the bottom of each shrub to give it a solid surface to stand on. #nomnomnom
Honestly, this was much harder of a recipe than I expected. I think that’s just gingerbread houses – so much cutting and gluing and decorating, and with only one pair of hands, it can get dicey. Makes me fondly remember the days of decorating milk cartons covered in graham crackers at the neighbor’s house with my sister. Soooooo much easier. Get right to the good part!
So that was my Gingerbread House escapade. Did you make gingerbread houses this Christmas season? Did you also eat your weight in Christmas cookies? #noregrets
Gingerbread House Recipe (sourced from Food Network)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light molasses or dark corn syrup
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
1 pound (3-3/4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
1 to 2 large egg whites, or substitute 4 teaspoons packaged egg whites and 1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon almond extract, vanilla or lemon juice
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth.
Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough. Chill at least 30 minutes or until firm.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut out the following paper patterns for the gingerbread house template:
Two rectangles, 3 by 5 inches, to make the front and back of the house.
Two rectangles, 3 by 5 1/2 inches for the roof.
Two pieces for the ends of the house, 3 inches wide at the base, 3 inches to the roof line, and slanted to a peak 5 1/2 inches from the bottom.
Four smaller rectangles, 1 1/2 by 1 inch for the roof and sides of the entryway.
One piece, 2 inches wide at the base, 1 1/2 inches to the roof line, and slanted to a peak 2 1/2 inches from the bottom for the front of the entryway.
Roll gingerbread dough out to edges on a large, rimless cookie sheet. Place paper patterns onto the rolled out dough. With a sharp, straight edged knife, cut around each of the pieces, but leave pieces in place.
Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes until dough feels firm.
Place patterns on top of the gingerbread again and trim shapes, cutting edges with a straight-edged sharp knife. Leave to cool on baking sheet.
Mix all of the Royal Icing ingredients together using an electric hand mixer, until the icing is smooth and thin enough to be pressed through a pastry bag with a writing tip. Add more lemon juice, if necessary.
Place royal icing into pastry bag with a writing tip and press out to decorate individual parts of house, piping on decorations, windows, door, etc., as desired. Let dry until hardened.
Glue sides, front and back of house together at corners using royal icing. Place an object against the pieces to prop up until icing is dry (it only takes a few minutes).
Glue the two roof pieces to the pitched roofline of the house. Then, similarly, glue the sides and roof of the entryway together with icing. Attach the entryway to the front of the house.
Continue decorating the house, glueing on gumdrops, licorice and peppermint, as desired.