Saturday, 17 December 2011

Itty Bitty Ginger Bread House Recipe

I have gone completely cookie mad today... I made a lovely batch of gingerbread peoples and 'royally' iced them! They are uber tasty, I LUUURVE cookies...major weakness! I'm making batches and batches of them as Chrissy gifts to friends, family and colleagues. We can't really afford to do the gift thing this year so I'm handmaking all my own sugar scrubs, cookies, meringue, gingerbread houses, lemon and pumpkin butter....the list (and a neverending list it is too!) goes on!

My husband took some gingerbread people to work to share with the ladies he works with in a library (hubby works in a school) and they sent him home with nothing but compliments and all begging for the recipe saying how light the texture was and how beautiful they tasted...well, as you imagine I was very happy with myself!! I'm new to baking so I was extremely pleased! I guess that's what nudged me to think I could give this a go.

anyhoo, I want to share this's not only super yummy, but also super cute and very Christmas-y! I have always wanted to try these but never been brave enough; I'm actually typing this recipe out as I bake them so they could go wrong yet! But HEY! What can't be fixed/hidden with a bit of icing huh? If they're 'Tash-Proof' then I guarantee you can do them to. I'm a forgetful baker, like forgetting to put the cocoa into chocolate pudding, and yes I have managed that before.

 SO here goes...

Itty Bitty Gingerbread House

To start this yummo recipe, you'll need some let's start there.

Making the Gingerbread
125g butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
2 cups plain flour
1/3 cup self raising flour
1 Tbs ground ginger (more or less depending on your tastes...I like mine sharp with that delicious ginger flavour so I add a little more than 1 Tbs)
1 Tsp of bi-carb soda

With this recipe, you should get about 3-4 itty bitty houses of the gingerbread dough
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees; beat butter, sugar and syrup until light and creamy (and try not to eat too much of it as you go!!!)

Add the lightly beaten egg gradually. Sift all your flour, ginger and bi-carb into the butter mixture and combine well with a wooden spoon. Once combined, knead it gently to form a smooth dough.
Roll out your dough onto a baking paper lined tray to a thickness of about 5mm. Refrigerate for about 1/2 hour...(this makes it a world easier to handle later, trust me!!)

2. Now to cutting out your house peices out of your gingerbread, you can measure these out onto cardboard before hand if you like or you can just measure them as you cut like I did:

Two front walls: 5cm x 5cm squares with a 3cm triangle on top
Two side walls 5cm x 8cm rectangles
Two roof pieces 5cm x 9cm rectangles
Bake for about 10 minutes. You can tell they're cooked when the base of the cookie has turned a darker brown. Using a spatula, gently place your cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

I like to use that half hour the dough is in the fridge for to clean up my mess and prepare for the next step. I only have a very small kitchen with limited bench space and I need every inch of it so I suppose I don't get too much of a choice! :p

Ta da! you've got your cookies! Are they cooled yet?? Yes?  I just took mine out of the oven and they appear to have survived! Excellent!
While they're still warm, take a sharp knife and straighten to edges of your cookies..they'll stick together better that way.

 Now let's get to the fun (and messy) part!

Making the 'Cement' Icing and Constructing Your Itty Bitty House
This recipe should give you enough to glue your house together and use the rest to use to decorate with :)
2 egg white (at room temperature)
3 cups of icing sugar
1. Beat your egg whites until they form soft peaks then gradually add your icing sugar bit by bit until you get a gorgeous shiny and stiff icing. Just a tip here...what you don't use for sticking the house together, cover the bowl with a damp towl to keep the icing from hardening before you use it for decorating.

Or you can get your husband to beat the eggs and sugar! You didn't think that was MY arm did you? Be warned..don't wear black!! The icing sugar gets everywhere!

There are two ways you can stick your house together...first way is to use a piping bag ( a number 96 piping nozzle works well) or you can simply (but carefully) dip the edges you want to stick into the icing and do it that way. Or you could use a spoon too... do whatever is necessary to form your beautiful little yummy house together!
2. Join together the walls and leave it on a aluminium foil sheet to harden.

I've just piped the cement on here and I'm hoping it hardens!! Not too sturdy at the moment..but I always have trouble getting royal icing to the right consistancy..I think it's just me!
. When the walls are set enough (you'll know if it's not, as it will fall apart on you!) after about half an hour to be on the safe side, pipe or spoon icing on to join your roof pieces. Leave your house for 20-30 minutes for the cement to harden up before you start decorating.

THE FUN PART (a.k.a The Decorating Bit)
Did you see my Christmas Mallow Poles there?? I've also got M and M's and some Naturals Jelly Fruits as well as a whole range of food colouring at my disposal!! You're free to decorate yours however you like, but in case you're curious, I've taken some progressive photos of how I've decorated mine :)

With plain white icing I have piped on roofing shingles

On the front I have added some cut-up pieces of marshmallow pole I bought at the supermarket

To add some fun colour I have 'glued' on M and M's to the roof shingles...looking very very tasty at this stage!!!

I made some mini gingerbread christmas trees to use as front doors :) I started making some gingerbread windows but found I'd forgotton my liqourice strips to make the window frames with! Whoops! (the windows look a little like grilled cheese on toast!)

Next I went a little icing-mad and added 'snow' to the eaves and over the top of the roofs...then digging in my pantry I found some silver candy balls and sprinkled those on top. The house is resting on a small plate covered in foil, which I then dampened and sifted icing sugar onto. Around the bottom of the edge of my houses I stuck yummy little jelly fruits! yum yum yum!!

It definately needed a chimney...I found a fun-sized cherry ripe in my chocolate stash (you have to keep an emergency stash at home at all know, just in case!). I cut it in half and cut a diagonal on the bottom edge, added some icing and stuck it on top....perfect!!!
And there you have it! I hope you have as much fun making these as I did! I hope the people I made these for enjoy eating them just as much too!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!! :)

-Tash Xx

1 comment:

  1. Those are So cute and look delicious! Thanks for submitting it to my artistic Tuesday link up!


Thanks a bunch of bananas for the comments lovelies! I sure do appreciate it you spunky thing you :o)