Daring Bakers's Project Gingerbread House ,was it a success?Pretty much.I did aim for a bigger gingerbread house that collapsed to my utter disappointment;reason - the glue wasn't strong enough.Raw Eggs Royal Icing wasn't an option for me.Looking for suitable alternatives I choose the Simple syrup(melted sugar). Though the hot melted sugar couldn't hold the big house but worked perfectly with the mini counterparts.Simple syrup is really hot,take utmost care when using it.If that sounds risky then go for the much safer and decadent,melted dark chocolate glue.Be sure to freeze ,as you glue each pieces together,it has to work with the mini houses(I haven't tried with bigger size though).
And don't be afraid to mix in some whole grains in your edible abodes and remember only fresh ginger,not canned or powdered.The fresh ginger combined with the cinnamon in the dough,gives the best aroma on baking.And lastly use Organic where ever possible.
The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.
Recipe Wholegrain Mini gingerbread house
Makes 5-6 Mini gingerbread houses(Approx. dimensions 2x2 inches).
2 cups Whole grain pastry flour
1/2 cup Organic Butter,softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated
1 teaspoon spice mix(I used ground cinnamon and cloves)
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup warm water.
Prepare the dough
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until blended. Add the ginger and spice mix.In another bigger bowl,mix dough,spice mix and soda.Add the warm water to the dough and make a stiff dough. If necessary add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Chill for an hour.
Cut out the Templates
You don't have to be an architect to design a template.Draw the intended size of the pieces on a poster board or card board.Requires 2 front pieces,2 for the sides and 2 for the roof.Cut out along the patterns ,don't forget to include the door and windows.
Cut and Bake
Roll the dough and cut along the cut out patterns .Place on a large baking sheet.Any scraps saved, re roll at the end.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the cookie dough feels firm. After baking, again place the pattern on top of the gingerbread and trim the shapes, cutting the edges with a straight-edged knife. Leave to cool on the baking sheet.
Eggless Gluing options
1.Hot melted sugar(WARNING : Not safe for working with kids):Melt about 2 tablespoon of brown or white sugar in a small saucepan until dark and bubbly(single thread stage) about 5-6 minutes on medium heat.Very carefully dip and coat the sides of the baked pieces of the house and attach together,use a can for support until the sugar sets.Begin with front and side piece,followed by the back and the other side.Then finally the roof.Work promptly before the sugar solidifies,you can the sugar warm on low heat until finished using it.
For the pretzel decor,coat the sides of pretzels with the melted sugar and place over the roof or sides.
2.Melted Dark chocolate : Chop and melt about 3 ounces of dark chocolate,in a microwave or double broiler.Stir to melt completely.Brush the melted chocolate over the edges of the baked pieces of the house.Glue 2 pieces of the base first, transfer in freezer to chill for 3-4 minutes until chocolate sets.Next join the other 2 pieces of the base,chill and finally join the pieces of roof over the base and chill again until set.
For Sprinkling any chopped nuts ,brush some melted chocolate and sprinkle the nuts over the roof.For the chocolate bricks,glue the chopped pieces of the dark chocolate with melted chocolate along the sides of the house.
Any remaining chopped nuts and melted chocolate can be mixed together ,transfer on parchment paper and chill for 2-3 minutes,place around the house.
Peek in other creative edible abodes at daring bakers blog roll.