Years ago I spent days and days baking gingerbread house pieces. Friends came over and covered every inch with icing and candy. Every inch. No one ate it...it was just for decoration.
We had fun...but I've decided that, this year, I'm buying the house kits for construction and only baking for consumption. Makes sense, right?
Jake put two tables together and covered them with plastic. The boys gathered round and started dividing out the frosting and swapping candies.
Our littlest gingerbread construction worker got a helping hand from mom.
The rest of the crew just went to town on their own.
These were some of their creations.
And this was our resident aspiring engineer. Despite the pre-fab kit, he had to modify it! "Mom, where's the saw?" he asked.
I don't have a saw, I retorted. Daddy has a saw.
"No, you do," he insisted. "The cookie saw."
Oh, you mean a knife. Yes, I do have a knife.
They had so much fun. I think we'll definitely make this a tradition. If you want to make some here's this..
The Basic Dough
- 1 C butter
- 1 C dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 C unsulphered molasses
- 6 C white whole wheat flour
- 1 C chestnut flour
- 2 T baking powder
- 1 T ground ginger
Melt the butter and whisk in the molasses, sugar, and eggs. Add dry ingredients and blend till you have a stiff dough. Split dough into quarters and roll into a ball. Wrap tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour. Roll dough to desired thickness (I kept them fairly thick to withstand little hands) and cut out your pieces. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on thickness.
The Royal Icing
AKA "the cookie glue"
- egg whites from two eggs, or more if needed to thin icing
- 4 C organic powdered sugar, or more to thicken icing
- juice from one lemon
Beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar and lemon juice. Beat for another minute. If the icing is too thick, add more egg whites; if it's too thin, add more sugar. Add food coloring if you desire. This icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.