Miniature Gingerbread Houses

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This year I’m getting started early on Christmas. I’ve bought presents, I remembered to bring back the decorations from my parents house last month. We moved into this house in January, so we haven’t experienced Christmas here yet, so I’m wondering will December bring the electricity meters into meltdown as the neighbours compete to have the best decorated house on the street?

Gingerbread house

Well we may not have the best decorated house, but we’ll try and have some of the best food that’s for sure. I look forward to Christmas because of all the amazing party nibbles that are about at this time of year. Serious issues around eating proper meals during the festive season, I’ll happily just eat random nibbles all night long. This is combined with the fact that I already know before December’s even begun that I need to go on a diet (yes, waistbands are begining to strain)…

Gingerbread house 3

But for the moment, I’m holding off on the dieting and bringing you delicious gingerbread treats instead. The sort of gingerbread that you find in Lapland with cinnamon in. And I love gingerbread houses, but how the heck do you portion that out? Well these mini ones provide an easy solution, and they’ll make really sweet(!) gifts for those of you a bit strapped for cash this winter. They keep well stored in a cool dry place so you could make them a little in advance.

They do take a little while to make, I will say. But nothing great was ever easy. I’m afraid I wasn’t too great with the flash because I was decorating them in the nights after work. I have tried my best to give you a good photo guide on how to do them though. The decoration can be anything you want it to be. I kind of discovered I’d forgotten to buy any decorations, so just made use of the sanding sugar and hundreds and thousands I had in my cake drawers but I’m sure you can you do a better job! If you do make them I’d love you to hook me up with some links to the photos, it’d make my day!

One of the best things about gingerbread is that it’s pretty darn easy to make. I will stress that it’s fairly imperative to have a way or being able to make the dough even thickness when you roll it out. Whether that’s using a special Joseph Joseph Adjustable Wooden Rolling Pin or using a rolling pin with two sticks. If you don’t make the dough even, you’re going to end up with dark bits of gingerbread where it’s thinner (and more breakable due to being brittle) and light bits where it’s thicker and perhaps not cooked enough.

First we’re going to need a template. Copy and paste it into an image editing program. Don’t use Word or try and use the Windows image printing program as they’re both likely to rescale the image. To make nice easy-to-use template pieces, I printed the template out onto a piece of paper, stuck it on some stuff cardboard and then covered each piece with cling film with all the edges stuck together as the top so I wouldn’t mark the gingerbread too much.

Gingerbread house template

Then we’ll get all the ingredients together…

Ginger bread house ingredients

Next we’re going to whip cream and a little vanilla together, then mix with brown sugar, black treacle, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon until it looks like this:

Gingerbread mix

Then we’ll add the flour in bit by bit, then you’ll be able to squeeze it together gently to form a dough.

Gingerbread dough

Now we need to roll out the dough evenly and as tightly as possible, cut the pieces out…
Gingerbread dough cutting

Put your pieces onto the baking tray. I’d suggest putting all the roof pieces together, all the sides together etc. It makes it easier to sort things out afterwards.

Gingerbread dough cut out on the baking tray

Bake…once cool we can make up the royal icing to cement it all together and start a little decoration! I put the doors and windows on prior to glueing.

Now we want to begin construction. The easiest way is to “wiggle pipe” so icing onto the base all the way around and leave for a minute. You’ll also want to pipe down the sides of the sides. You don’t need to worry about being neat, we’ll repipe the sides afterwards really prettily.

Gingerbread house pieces piping cement

Then we’re going to gently place a front or back onto the house, gently pressing onto the very edge of the base, then sticking each of the sides to it to support it.

Gingerbread house pieces piping cement 2

Glue the other sides on and hold together until they can support themselves

Gingerbread house pieces piping cement 3

Then you can pipe around the outsides of the edges and pipe the tops of the front, back and sides in preparation for glueing the roof on.

Gingerbread house pieces piping cement 4

Put each roof piece on gently…

Gingerbread house pieces piping cement 5
gingerbread house pieces piping cement 6

Now you can decorate and pipe to your heart’s content. I piped some of the rooves using a star tip!

gingerbread house pieces piping rooves

Here’s some other roof ideas…Piping icicles is really easy, just use a small nozzle, make sure you give a good squeeze onto the roof on the bottom side then pull down quickly,

Gingerbread house 2
Gingerbread house 5[/donotprint]

{Makes 6 mini gingerbread houses}

Adapted from here

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup whipping cream
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tbsp bicarb soda
  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup black treacle
  • 2¼ plain flour

For the icing…

  • 200g royal icing sugar
  • a few tablespoons of water

Ingredients

  1. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper or Silpat. Print out your template pieces, stick onto thick cardboard and then cover with cling film to protect dough, making sure that the cling film edges are facing up to prevent denting the dough too much.
  2. Preheat oven to 140°C/275°F/Gas Mark 1
  3. Whip cream and vanilla in a small bowl until they form soft peaks.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together brown sugar, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, and cinnamon. Stir in the black treacle, then beat in whipped cream mixture until well-combined
  5. Gradually add flour bit by bit, making sure each time that the flour has been mixed in well.
  6. Dust a pastry mat or kitchen surface with flour. Divide dough in half and roll out one portion of the dough until flat – about 6mm thick. I then cut the dough so that the sides we kind of straight as I found this the easiest way to work.
  7. Using your templates, you’ll need to cut 12 x roof pieces, 12 x front/back pieces, 12 side pieces and 6 bases. Using a palette knife, lift carefully onto baking trays.
  8. Bake for about 20 mins but do check after 15 minutes. They will feel firm and edges will just be beginning to darken. Cool on a wire rack.
  9. Once cool, mix up your royal icing. Place your royal icing sugar in the mixer and gradually add water drop by drop until it’s thick but spreadable. Then mix for 3-4 minutes.
  10. Follow the visual demonstrations in this post for help with glueing and decorating your gingerbread houses!

Comments

  1. says

    These are SO adorable! I’m obsessed with gingerbread at the moment but haven’t got round to making anything as epic as a house. Amazing presents…definitely going to give these a go :-)

  2. says

    These are adorable!!! I absolutely¬† love them. For some reason I’ve avoided making gingerbread dough but your step by step makes it seem pretty easy.¬†

  3. Miss South says

    I wish I’d seen this before I ruined a batch of gingerbread biscuit dough last week and wasted a tonne of butter…they look adorable. Love the icicles especially!

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