For anyone who likes to have a Hansel and Gretel moment. This is guaranteed to mesmerise small children. I made my first gingerbread house for Christmas a few years ago, and each year I like to raise the bar. So I upgraded from a gingerbread house to a castle, and last Christmas I added coloured windows. For Christmas 2012 I got more ambitious with my windows, and had to have gingerbread dinosaurs attacking the castle as instructed by my nephews.
This is a Norwegian recipe. Traditionally Norwegians are supposed to bake at least seven types of biscuits for Christmas.
The advantage of making a castle is that when it gets nibbled it becomes a picturesque ruin.
Once prepared the gingerbread dough should sit in the fridge at least overnight. If you can't be bothered to make a gingerbread building, the dough makes very nice biscuits.
Step 1: Ingredients
For the dough;
200g granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon aniseed
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
If you have the unground versions of the spices, then they can be ground in a pestle and mortar (I like to do this because it makes me feel like a witch). If you don't have all the spices, the most important spices are the cinnamon, ginger, pepper and cardamom.
a cake board or similar to use as a base (I have also used a large breadboard covered with foil)
ruler and protractor
coloured boiled sweets for windows (optional)
small set of lights (optional)
sugar (for sticking castle together)
sweets for decorating