Oh how I love Christmas and the holidays! Weeks of relaxation and happiness, filled with warm spices, the smell of pine, Christmas music, and holiday cheer. We have recently decked out our Christmas tree, strung with colorful lights, filled with many homemade ornaments, and topped with an angel. This year I decided to try something new, something festive, something fun. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is creating gingerbread houses. Oh, and not those lame gingerbread houses made from graham crackers, oh no. And not just one, but eight. That’s right: I decided to throw a gingerbread house making party, full of real gingerbread, fondant, royal icing, and candies galore.
The first step of course is to make the gingerbread. I bought this nifty silicon gingerbread mold to ensure that everyone’s gingerbread house would look perfect. Go here if you want to purchase the mold.
This recipe for gingerbread is extremely easy, but you really need to use a stand mixer for it as it is extremely thick, and it takes A LOT of elbow grease if you were to do it by hand. This gingerbread receipt is sweeter and less molasses-y and spicy than traditional gingerbread. I purposely made them this way because I knew a lot of guests weren’t extremely fond of that strong gingerbread taste. Each recipe makes exactly one gingerbread house, so I had to make 9 batches to accompany my eight guests and myself. If you have a HUGE (and I mean massive) stand mixer, you can make larger batches to speed up the process if you are making multiple gingerbread houses.
When pressing the dough into the molds, make sure to use both your fingertips to make sure the dough is fitted into every nook and cranny of the silicone mold and the heels of your hands to evenly spread and flatten the dough.
And after 20 minutes, the dough is golden brown and baked to perfection. Right out of the oven, the gingerbread will be soft but as they cool, they will harden. Make sure to wait at least 5 minutes before popping them out of their silicone molds onto a wire rack to cool.
Don’t forget to make the royal icing as well and put it in piping bags or Ziplock bags with the tip cut off. If you are hosting a gingerbread house party, I recommend setting up an assortment of candies in little bowls on the table(s). I set up an assortment of sprinkles, candy canes (both large and small), frosting, Christmas candy corn, gummy Santas, peppermint Oreos, gummy Lifesavers, raspberry and blackberry gummy candies, caramels, M&Ms, peppermints, Hi-Chews, Andes’ Mints, Tic-Tacks and other assorted candies.
This is my gingerbread house…
And these are my guests’…
One guest decided to create a creepy version of the classic gingerbread house…
Another ravenous guest decided to eat part of their house before constructing it…
But whatever type of gingerbread house you decided to make, have a merry Christmas and a happy new year! Yum!
Completely Customizable Gingerbread House
Makes 1 gingerbread house
- 125 g brown sugar
- 180 unsalted butter
- 150 g light corn syrup
- 150 g molasses
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 500 g all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 340 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use a stand mixer to combine all of the ingredients except flour on low speed.
- Gradually add the flour on low speed until combined.
- Turn out the dough and knead it by hand until no flour streaks remain.
- Squish the dough into the mold, smoothing the top.
- Place the silicone molds filled with gingerbread onto 2 trays. Place them in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Let cool 5 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack and let the gingerbread cool completely.
- 3 Tbsp meringue powder
- 4 c. (1 lb) confectioners’ sugar
- 5 Tbsp warm water
- Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed w/ a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).