We’ve all seen a million gaudy little gumdrop-studded gingerbread cottages. (Yawn.) If I’m going to the trouble of making my own darn gingerbread house, then I’m going to make whatever type I want. So I thought I’d celebrate the house type in my adopted home, Brooklyn. And everyone knows New Yorkers spend a fair amount of their time coveting both real estate and fancy foodstuffs, so the whole thing just seemed to make sense.
My gingerbread house is, admittedly, a little bit on the involved side. So I’ve written instructions that you can use either to recreate my design, or to make your gingerbread creation, whether it is much simpler, or even more involved. (If you do want to recreate my brownstone design, I have the templates that I created for this design attached in the images for this step.)
The gingerbread recipe I made is technically edible, but it really is not meant for eating. Which explains why I call for shortening (I just can’t stand to put perfectly good butter into something that isn’t going to be eaten). The ideal gingerbread for making a house bakes up hard as a rock. The texture and flavor are rather similar to a thin plywood. I make gingerbread cookies for eating with good butter, and a delicate balance of spices. This dough, on the other hand, was a good opportunity to get rid of some old, stale cinnamon. Royal icing is both the glue and the snow, and it is made of just egg whites and powdered sugar. With these two recipes at your disposal, you’ll be ready tackle just about any gingerbread project. And if you're really feeling ambitious, you can make poured sugar "glass" for the windows. I have the base recipes for gingergbread dough, royal icing and poured sugar attached in one printer friendly pdf called Gingerbread Basics. These recipes make more than enough icing and gingerbread to make this house. If you're making a smaller (or larger) project, you can adjust accordingly.
This project, along with lots of other food-related nonsense is also posted on my blog, www.kitchentablescraps.com. Enjoy, and have a very happy holidays!
- Design your house
- Carve Templates (Optional)
- Make Royal Icing
- Mix Gingerbread Dough
- Roll, Cut & Shape Gingerbread*
- Pipe Freestanding Royal Icing Pieces*
- Bake Gingerbread
- Decorate Sides
- Cook Poured Sugar Windows/Glue (optional)
- Assemble House