KATY CLEMENTE CALEL
Making gingerbread houses is a popular activity to do with your family during the holidays. It is a great bonding experience and delicious to eat at the end. Here are the steps to make it.
The ingredients you need:
- 6 cups (828g) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (170g) butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups (284g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 cup dark molasses
- 1 tablespoon water
For the icing you need:
- 2 Large Egg Whites
- 2 2/3 cups powdered sugar, divided
Step 1: To start off you will need a large bowl, and in it whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and salt.
Step 2: Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy and well blended. Beat in the eggs, molasses, and water until well combined.
Step 3: Beat half of the flour mixture into the other mixture until well blended and smooth. Add in the remaining flour and continue to mix until well blended and a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand 5 or 6 times until the dough is smooth and combined. If the dough is too soft, add a little more flour.
Step 4: Divide the dough in half, pat into disks, and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least two hours, preferably overnight. You can make it up to three days ahead of time. Let sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before rolling out.
Step 5: For the icing you will just need to whisk the egg whites and 1 1/3 cups of the powdered sugar together until smooth. Add the remaining 1 1/3 cup of powdered sugar to the sugar egg mixture. Using an electric mixer, beat on high speed until the icing holds stiff peaks. If it doesn’t form stiff peaks, add more powdered sugar. When you are ready to decorate, fill a pastry bag with the icing.
To make the shapes for the house you should create a gingerbread house pattern by cutting out pieces of stiff paper or cardboard. Now you can create a house model easily using the pieces. After you have your lay out done, preheat the oven to 350° F. Have several flat cookie sheets ready, preferably ones that you know will not warp in the oven heat. Bake in a 350°F oven until the edges are just beginning to darken, 11-15 minutes for the large pieces, 6 to 8 minutes for the small pieces. Rotate the cookie sheets halfway through the baking for more even browning. Remove the sheets to racks to cool, about 15 minutes. While the pieces are still slightly warm, lay the pattern pieces over them and use a knife to trim off any parts of the pieces that have spread beyond the pattern.
Now to make your gingerbread house here are the steps:
You will need to pipe a thick line of icing along a short end of one of the side pieces. Press the iced side piece against the edge of either the front or back pieces. Hold in place for a few minutes until the icing is partially set. Repeat with the other side piece. Repeat with the other short edges of the side pieces and the remaining front/back piece. Pipe icing along the seams, inside and outside of the house, to fill in any gaps and to add extra stability. To decorate just add some frosting to the places you want and add candy around the house to make it look colorful.
Now hopefully you have fun making this with someone special to you.