A real Christmas treat and big fun if you have a child. Or two. Always plan ahead as the dough need to rest and when the pieces are decorated with icing at least one day is necessary for them to set.
for the dough:
1000 gr plain flour
1 sachet (5 gr) bicarbonate of soda
200 gr icing sugar
250 gr honey
120 gr unsalted butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 heaped teaspoon ground cloves
1 level teaspoon ground ginger
50-100 ml milk
for the icing:
300-350 gr icing sugar
2 egg whites
décor sugar pearls for decorating
sparkling sugar powder
kids of any age or size
1. Sift the flour into a bowl. Add soda, sugar and the spices. Crack in the egg. Mix well with a wooden spoon or in the bowl of a stand mixer.
2. Meanwhile melt the honey on low heat in a pan or in microwave oven, then add the diced butter and stir until melted.
3. Add the honey mixture to the flour. Stir until it looks like crumbles then add the milk gradually until it all comes together into a tender, smooth dough.
4. Wrap into cling film and chill at least for a night.
5. Next day cut the dough into quarters. Place one quarter on floured surface and roll with a rolling pin into thickness of a 1 £ coin.
6. Preheat oven to 150 C. Cut the base of the house, appr 25 X 20 cm rectangle. (it’s not necessary but the house is much more stable and gives much more possibility to decorate the outside of house with path, tree, snowman, etc.)
7. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and bake the base for 9-12 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Using the template from Delicious.Magazine cut out the different pieces. You may need re-roll the trimmings. If You have any leftovers just cut out any Christmas shape to decorate the wall and the path.
9. Once cool the gingerbread leave the pieces in an airtight tin for a night to be really crispy. Decorate with icing just next day otherwise the dough will be softened and the house will not be very stable.
10. Next day make the icing: only the half dosage of the above weight (the next half will be necessary to assemble to whole house next day!) Mix the sugar with egg white with a wire whisk. The icing is perfect if quite thick and doesn’t run too quick off the whisk. Fill into a piping bag adapted with a small nozzle. First of all decorate the roof of the house. Make patterns like tiles then sprinkle with sparkling sugar powder as they would be snowy and shiny.
11. Decorate the frames of windows and door. Cover the chimney pieces with icing then scatter with sugar pearls. Leave to set for a night in a dry room. Decorate any small pieces like trees, snowman, boot with icing then sugar pearls.
12. Next day make the second half of icing. Place one side wall on the base, stick with icing then place the front wall and stick, too. Always wait for a few seconds to get set and dry before you stick the next piece.
13. When all the four walls are standing You can hide something into the house. I hid some candy canes. Then carefully stick the roof pieces. When one half has set place the next one and wait until set. If any holes turn up just try to cover with some icing. Leave to set for a night. Can be kept for up to a few weeks.
Could you eat it? Not me, but kids don’t care about that!
For more Christmas recipes check out the Kiddies Kitchen Christmas Edition 2013.