Family Tradition : Gingerbread House

Good Morning ! And I hope you are having a great week. My son is home from college and as our family tradition hes helping me with some Holiday baking. We always start the season off with a Gingerbread House as our Table center piece.

I am using a kit we bought at Wal mart from Wilton with some added decorations and candy.

History of Gingerbread Houses :

According to Rhonda Massingham Hart’s Making Gingerbread Houses, the first known recipe for gingerbread came from Greece in 2400 BC. Chinese recipes were developed during the 10th century and by the late Middle Ages, Europeans had their own version of gingerbread. The hard cookies, sometimes gilded with gold leaf and shaped like animals, kings and queens, were a staple at Medieval fairs in England, France, Holland and Germany. Queen Elizabeth I is credited with the idea of decorating the cookies in this fashion, after she had some made to resemble the dignitaries visiting her court. Over time some of these festivals came to be known as Gingerbread Fairs, and the gingerbread cookies served there were known as ‘fairings.’ The shapes of the gingerbread changed with the season, including flowers in the spring and birds in the fall. Elaborately decorated gingerbread became synonymous with all things fancy and elegant in England. The gold leaf that was often used to decorate gingerbread cookies led to the popular expression “to take the gilt off of gingerbread.” The carved, white architectural details found on many colonial American seaside homes is sometimes referred to as “gingerbread work.”https://www.pbs.org/food/

Mini Gingerbread houses:

perfect for a party, gift or when you don’t want to make a big hose.

GINGERBREAD HOUSE DOUGH

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp water
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves, and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth.
  • Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough.
  • Chill for at least 30 minutes or until firm.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Roll out the dough and use cutters to create the shapes of the gingerbread house.
  • Use the mini gingerbread house cutters to make the shapes and create little houses. You should get about 6-8 houses from one batch of dough.
  • Bake for about 8 minutes or until crispy.
  • Let the gingerbread house cool before assembling. It will harden as it cool
  • Make a batch of icing to build the gingerbread house. 
  • Once the gingerbread has cooled, you can start to build the gingerbread house.
  • When the mini gingerbread houses are fully assembled, let it dry for 5 minutes before decorating it.
  • To decorate, use different piping tips and sprinkles.
  • Use these for mugs, as gifts, or write names on the roofs to use as place settings.

Icing for Gingerbread House:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar) (1 pound)
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 10-15 tablespoons water
  • For the royal icing using egg whites:
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar) (1 pound)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 5-10 tablespoons water

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