Sunday, December 26, 2010

Attempts at cookie architecture

Gingerbread houses have always been a love of mine, but I've always cheated when making them... using frosting to glue pieces of graham crackers to milk cartons, getting prebaked kits.... this year I decided I wanted to make these mini ginger bread houses for setting on the edge of a mug from Not Martha

I recieved a lovely ginger bread mix from a friend and wanted to use that

It was very sticky and hard to cut the pieces out...

And here are the unbaked ginger bread village ruins

When I baked the pieces from the mix they all rose and expanded and broke.....but they were very delicious. Since all the pieces were the wrong size and most of them were eaten I needed to make more dough, I decided to use to use a recipe my grandmother had cut from the newspaper for me. 
The gingerbread recipe from the whitehouse makes a ton, and I mean a TON of dough... 50 4x4 cookies.. thats 16 square inches a cookie, 800 square inches total.... thats a lot...Did I use it all? No...

Here is my version of their recipe
2 sticks softened butter
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup molasses
7 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (instead of 1/4) ground ginger, cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (instead of 1/4) baking powder, salt
1/2 teaspoon (instead if 1) baking soda
(and I completely left out Zest of 1 lemon, 1 orange)

  1. Beat together the eggs, sugar, butter, and molasses
  2. Add in the ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Make sure they're mixed in evenly
  3. Add in the flour in several parts, dumb in a cup or two, mix mix mix mix until it's in, then add some more. Scrape the sides of the bowl a lot...
  4. Next roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper a few scoops at a time while it is still warm and refridgerate the rolled out sheets until you're ready to use them (I'd say at least 20 minutes and they'll be fine to use)
  5. Preheat your oven to 350 ° F
  6. Cut out your shapes/pieces whatever, and bake for 10-12 minutes.

You see how much it makes?

This dough was soo much easier to cut the pieces out of

I covered the roof pieces in sugar before I baked them so they could have a snowy look to them

To ice them I used the royal icing recipe from Joy of baking 

2 egg whites
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups powdered sugar

  1. Beat everything together in bowl
  2. Transfer quickly to a piping bag
  3. Ice things, the gingerbread houses in particular
  4. let dry
  5. gift or consume

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