What you will need:
- Gingerbread Dough – I have a gluten free recipe on my blog but you can use others
- Gingerbread House Template (attached to this intro)
- A4 sheet of card
- Royal icing (1 packet of egg whites, 250g of icing sugar, 1 cap of vanilla extract, water)
- Desiccated coconut
Time: 3 to 4 hours
Difficulty: A bit Tricky
Step 1: Make Your Gingerbread
Make the dough using your chosen Gingerbread recipe, then wrap the dough in cling film and put it in the freezer for 1 hour (or in the fridge overnight if you are not in a rush). This stops the dough expanding when you put it in the oven.
After removing from the freezer, put whatever you are not using just now in the fridge to keep it cool
My dough looks dark in this picture because I put too much treacle in my first batch. Yours should look lighter than this.
Step 2: Roll the Dough
I put my dough in between 2 sheets of grease proof paper on a chopping board and rolled until it was about 1/2 a cm thick
Step 3: Cut Out Your Houses
Print out my Gingerbread house template onto some card and cut out the shapes. before placing the template on the dough, sprinkle a little flour over the top so that the card doesn't stick to the dough.
Cut out two of each to make 1 house
Step 4: Bake
Put them in the oven for 8/10 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius but keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn. it will still be a little soft when you take it out the oven but will harden up as it cools.
Make sure none of the pieces are touching otherwise they will join together when baking
Step 5: Leave to Cool
Leave your pieces out to cool as they need to be cold to touch before you can put on the icing
Step 6: Make the Icing
First beat the egg whites with 2 tablespoons of water until they are light and fluffy. Add half the icing sugar and 1/2 more table spoons of water as needed, then repeat with the rest of the icing sugar.
Step 7: Build Your Houses
Pipe the icing on the house pieces to join them together. The small squares are for the sides of the house and the larger rectangles are for the roof.
Step 8: Let It Snow
Ice the roofs and then press some coconut of the top to make it look like snow. Then all that's left to do is serve them to your friends on mugs of your favourite hot drink, I recommend a chai latte!