Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Celebrating Christmas: The Gingerbread House.
With only 12 days left to go till Christmas (WOW!) we are well and truelly getting into the festive spirit this year! Earlier this year, Amanda and I decided this will be the first year we build and decorate Gingerbread Houses together. So on Sunday we started out on the task to bake and build our little houses from scratch. And just look at the finished product! A bit rough around the edges, but it just screams out FUN!
For any of you that are keen to build your own houses from scratch, here are a few tips I would leave you with from our experience:
1. Read the recipe a few days before you start! You may need to leave your dough in the fridge for a few hours, so plan ahead.
2. When you roll out your dough to be cut into shapes, don't roll it out too thick!
3. When you roll out your dough to be cut into shapes, don't roll it out too thin! Hah, it's a bit of a guessing game really - too thick takes ages to bake, too thin won't support your house and may crack.
4. After baking your separate pieces to build the house with, make sure it cools down completely before you start putting it together - the icing may melt, and your pieces may still be too soft (the colder they are, the harder and more stable they become).
5. The more lollies, jellies, candy canes and sweet treats you have the better!
6. Research some houses for decoration ideas - you can get pretty stumped if you don't have a bit of an idea of what you would like it to look like.
7. Decorate your walls, roof, door etc BEFORE you assemble - it is much easier to decorate while pieces are lying flat.
8. Have a friend help you assemble - the more hands you have to hold up walls, the safer and studier your house will be.
9. Use a quick cooling, hard icing to help assemble pieces.
10. Have cans ready to put on either side of the walls to help support structure until icing is hard.
11. Make sure you have enough patience! We didn't believe the recipe when it said "Alow up to 3 days to complete house", but really, if you are building from scratch you probably want to do that!
The icing recipe we used was perfect! So for those who would like to try, would recommend this icing:
2x egg whites
2 2/3 cups icing sugar
Whisk egg whites until light and fluffy, and slowly start adding icing sugar until icing becomes thicker and stiff.
Fun! Alright, well that's a new Christmas tradition we have started! Oh how I love Christmas!