"if you wish to be glamorous, become a cake baker" -The Joy of Cooking

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Cookies: Gingerbread Madness!!

Every Christmas season the sheer longing to bake gingerbread and construct fun festive things like a jolly house is so overwhelming I find myself day dreaming about making one all day.  Details like how the door will look or what candies I should buy to adorn it, how and where I should display it in our home takes over my brain until I get into the kitchen and start.

I purchased this book Here a couple Christmases ago and LOVE looking through it to get inspired, learn royal icing techniques and it has great house templates in it as well.  I definitely took the house on the front cover as a guide for the house I made this year, although it isn't nearly as perfect, I really love how it turned out.  

I also made a gingerbread tree and some good ol' gingerbread men.  The tree and house are purely for decoration, the men I baked to actually eat.   I must admit as much as I love baking and making gingerbread this didn't get done all in one day, it actually took days to make, 2 batches of royal icing and sprinkles everywhere that by the time I finished, it really does take me a whole year to recover and get the urge to make another! 

I used 2 batches of this recipe HERE from Wilton.  For the men I substituted butter instead of shortening.

My templates placed on the rolled dough.  I printed this cute gingerbread house template from an amazing blog I follow sweetopia.net all about mastering beautifully decorated cookies.  Click  Here if you would like the template

House pieces ready to bake.  I put the cookie pieces in the freezer for about 15mins before baking

This year I decided instead of using candy I would decorate my house with royal icing and some sprinkles.  Here i'm using a fan to help speed up the drying time.  

Decorate your walls and let them dry flat completely before assembling the house.  I'm very new at piping royal icing and need to work on perfecting the perfect consistency for piping decorations

I LOVE the way the front door came out.  I covered it with sugar pearls and the pink door knob is just perfect.  It makes me smile every time I look at it

Back of house

Side windows

I absolutely love it :)

Here is the recipe I used for royal icing also from sweetopia.net 
It is a super thick consistency which is perfect for putting house pieces together.  You will need to thin out the icing with water in order to do any detailed piping.  This is where I definitely struggled.  My icing was probably a bit too thin but I just went with it and like the way it came out

Gingerbread men! I got the gingerbread man cutter form Williams-Sonoma.  I think next time I will use a smaller icing tip for the face that I used for the outlining 

 And last but not least the tree!! I used this  cutter set from Wilton.  I just cut and baked 1 of each graduated size star. Once cooled and I stacked the stars using royal icing and then sprinkled over gold and silver dragees and snowflakes. 

I hope I inspired you to get in the spirit of baking gingerbread!! Although it was very time consuming it was really fun and by the time next christmas rolls around i'll be ready to go again!  


                                                  PEACE ~ LOVE ~ JOY ~ BAKE


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