It is the time of the year, Christmas! Tis the season to be jolly! After much thoughts, I made the dough ahead of time, cut them into shapes and froze them. The day before I intended to bake the gingerbread cut outs, I moved them out of the freezer to defrost in the chiller compartment of the fridge and baked them straight from the fridge. With the recipe, I managed to do a gingerbread house and many gingerbread cookies in various shapes.
Last year, the gingerbread house did not last more than 15 minutes and we only had time to take a few photos before the house collapsed under the weight of the roof. Royal icing did not work and so this year, I used caramel as edible glue and it worked really well. The house even survived the journey to a party. It was a hit with the kiddos and even the adults had fun breaking pieces of the house and eating them. Every part of the house was edible, even the ‘snow’ surrounding the house. They were edible sugar pearls. I think this will be an annual bake from here on and we’ll probably engage the kiddos in some decorations. It’ll be fun. Oh.. warning though that the caramel glue is really hot and I burnt my finger trying to glue the pieces together, but all’s good.
I made the cookies first because I needed the icing to set before decorating and for the house, I baked the pieces a few days in advance, decorated the pieces on the day of assembly before assembling and touching up with remaining royal icing.
Look at the mess
I couldn’t help but took a few more photos
And of course some hanging ones
Here’s Mary Berry’s recipe which can be made into a gingerbread man house or gingerbread biscuits.
(Makes a gingerbread man house or about 50 gingerbread man cookies)
For the biscuit
- 900g plain flour
- 375g unsalted butter
- 300g dark brown sugar
- 150g golden syrup
- 2 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp baking soda
For the caramel glue
- 200g sugar
For the royal icing (increase up to 3 times if decorating heavily)
- 125g icing sugar
- 9g meringue powder
- 20g water
- assorted sweets
- coloured royal icing
For the gingerbread man dough
- Preheat the oven at 180 degrees and line a baking tray.
- Sieve the flour, baking soda and ground ginger together and set aside.
- Melt the butter, sugar and syrup over medium heat and pour the mixture into the bowl of sifted flour mixture.
- Stir to combine and knead to form a stiff dough.
- Divide the dough into 5 discs, rolling each into sheets of about 0.75 inches and cut into shapes. Use a gingerbread man cutter to cut out the dough. If doing the gingerbread man house, refer to Mary Berry’s recipe.
- Store in fridge to set for about 30 minutes or freeze till ready to bake. Thaw in fridge overnight before baking.
- Bake in preheated oven of 180 degrees for about 7 – 8 minutes and allow cookies to cool before decorating.
For the caramel glue
- Heat the sugar in a large saucepan for about 10 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds till the sugar melts and turns brown. Be careful not to burn the caramel.
- Use the caramel glue to construct the gingerbread house.
- If the glue hardens, warm it up again to melt it and you can use it again.
For the royal icing recipe
- Sift icing sugar and meringue powder together.
- Add water slowly and whisk till you get the correct consistency. It should not be too runny.
- Colour the royal icing as desired and decorate. I coloured mine red and green and left the rest white.
And finally, many many photos of the structurally sound gingerbread house.