This year will be the first time in almost 8 years that I will actually be home in Australia for the festive season, which I'm actually really excited for!! Just thought with all the travelling and stuff this year, it would be nice to actually spend some time at home with all my close family and friends :)
I've been a gingerbread making machine this past week. Never been a huge fan of gingerbread but I couldn't resist because they're so fun to make and look soo sweet and pretty!!
Adapted from Christmas Cooking by New Woman's Weekly
4 1/2 cups (675 g) self raising flour
3 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground clove
1 tsp ground nutmeg
185 g butter, chopped
1 cup (220 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (180 g) treacle
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 egg whites
3 cups (480 g) pure icing sugar/powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cream tartar
1 tsp lemon juice
35 cm round or square board
paper or cardboard
1. Rub all the dry ingredients and butter until it resembles bread crumbs. Add wet ingredients and combine until it forms a dough. Refrigerate for an hr.
2. Cut out shapes for the house; Roof (Qty 2) 12cm x 19 rectangles, Sides (Qty 2) 10.5 cm x 16 cm, Front/Back (Qty 2) 16 cm x 18 cm, trim this so that it forms 11 cm high gables.
3. Preheat oven to 170oC.
4. Roll out the dough between baking paper until approx 5 mm thick. Cut out shapes.
5. Bake for 10 to 12 mins, the cookie will feel soft but firm (it hardens as it cools).
6. To make the door and windows get a sharp knife and cut out the shapes whilst the cookie is still warm.
1. Sift all the powdered sugar and add the rest of the ingredients
2. Using a paddle mix the ingredients at the lowest speed for about 20 to 25 mins. Note : do not overmix or your royal icing will be very hard to pipe. The consistency should be soft but firm and elastic.
1. You need to do this at least a few hours before building your house, if possible, the day before. Pipe royal icing in an 'x' and place 2 skewers on the roof panels. This will serve as support for your structure.
2. Pipe along the edges of the back and one of the side panels and position them together. If it doesnt stay use a prop. Do the same with the other side. Note, how I have piped along the bottom as well.
3. Once all the sides are attached, pipe along the top edge and place the roof panels on top.
4. If there is a gap between the side/front and back panels and the roof, fill it in with royal icing.
Looks like my construction roots are still in me... hehehehe
After the house is built (and is standing on its own, without any support), you're ready to decorate!! You can use any sweets you like, chocolate freckles, jubes, chocolate fingers, marshmallows ....
Just a note on the recipe; its not a very strong gingerbready recipe so if you want to make it slightly spicier just add more powdered ginger! Also try swapping dark brown sugar with just brown sugar for a sweeter taste... because the royal icing and chocolate etc isnt bad enough for your teeth.
All of these make some really cute gift ideas for Xmas too!! :)
Gingerbread with your tea?
Mini Gingerbread house
Sad to say but, this is going to my last post of 2011 :( Its been a massive year, dunno about you guys but I will be welcoming the new year with open arms! :)
And... before I sign off, I just wanted to wish you all a....
and a Happy New Year!! See you all in 2012!!!