One of the things I most like about Christmas is the tradition of it all. Tradition being the things that we do as a family every year, these are the things we look forward to each year and I hope make special memories for our children.
Food is apart of Christmas in our house and I love to get everyone involved in choosing what will be on the menu each year.
Some things are on the menu every year, The Gingerbread House is one of them. I try to make it before school term finishes or the weekend before Christmas. With a plentiful supply of sweets and lashings of icing I am more or less guaranteed a little free time while my 3 children sit together with minimal arguing and ‘decorate’ the house. The sweets need to be plentiful as there is plenty of sweet eating as well, so not just before a mealtime!
This is the recipe I have always used for my Gingerbread House. It doesn’t spread and keeps a good shape. Though it is a recipe for biscuits and not a house so the quantities may need to be altered. It makes a fair amount and if I run short I quickly make up some more, any left overs will freeze or make biscuits to hang on the tree.
125 g unsalted butter
1/3 cup of soft dark/soft brown sugar
1/4 cup golden sugar
2 cups plain flour and 1/4 cup s.r.flour
1 tbs ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pre heat the oven to 180 C
Mix butter sugar and syrup until light and creamy
Add the egg gradually and beat thoroughly
Sift dry ingredients onto the butter mixture and mix until combines.
Knead on a well floured surface for 1-2 minutes.
Line a large chopping board with greaseproof paper and roll out to a 5 mm thickness
Refrigerate on the board for 15 minutes so that the dough is firm to cut
There are many ideas and templates online and you can be as creative as you wish. I like to cut windows out of the dough and once on the baking tray put a crunched up boiled sweet into the window hole. This will melt while cooking giving you a window.
Place your cut out shapes onto a lined baking tray and bake for 10 mins. or until lightly browned. Allow to cool on the tray.
Once cold I stick the pieces together with royal icing. It may be helpful to use something like a tin of beans to hold the sides in place. I build the walls and once dry put on the roof. I don’t worry too much about neatness of the joins for the walls and roof as once it had been piled high with sweets and more icing these are not noticeable!
Sweets that have been good are jelly tots, white chocolate buttons covered with little coloured balls (these make good roof tiles) chocolate fingers, curly wurlys are good for fences. Anything small and brightly coloured works well.
Enjoy Making a Gingerbread House!