Saturday, December 18, 2010

Scratch Gingerbread-House-Making: Not for the faint of heart . . .

Back in mid-November sometime, I started to daydream about all the magical Christmastime traditions Squire and I could start for our very own little family. One of those, was gingerbread house making, but not just any gingerbread house making. No, No, No. Not for the Hepworths. No kits or graham crackers. Everything from scratch.
So we planned a date night with our good friends Kristen and Cameron to share in the magic with us. Unfortunately, we didn't know that gingerbread house dough was so dense and strong as to cause a hand mixers' motor to die in flames and sparks...
Or, that the dough would also be too thick to stir by hand with a wooden spoon.
Luckily our friends own a shiny red Kitchenaid mixer that got the job done for us. :) But, it certainly was a process!

Kristen and Cameron opted for a beach-themed lifeguard tower gingerbread house. Cameron brought a small collection of farm animals along to liven up the beach scene. (Yes, that is a pig roasting over a fire.)
The finished gingerbread guard tower on the beach.
At the end of the night, our house looked like this. Who knew a curved roof would be so difficult to bake?
But, Squire didn't mind one bit.
With an early Christmas present from Jeremy - (Yay for a new hand mixer!! Thank you Jeremy! It is awesome!) I was able to mix up some more royal icing and Squire and I were able to complete the house today, almost a week later. Here's a photo during construction:
The finished backside of the house:
An aerial view:
The unevenness adds to the whimsical feel I think. :)
Notice the mail box in the front yard, the hand cart pulling some cinnamon logs, and a little lamb Kristen and Cameron forgot at our place? (Don't worry friends - you'll get him back after Christmas is over. But, we just really like him roaming along our fence for now.)

We love the finished product. Unfortunately my photography skills don't do the house justice, but we are very pleased. Almost pleased enough to forget all the troubles and make another from scratch next year. . . almost. :) We'll see. If you would like the recipes we used, here are the links:

The Dough recipe. (We added molasses instead of corn syrup for about 1/3 of the corn syrup the recipes called for, mostly just because we ran out, but we liked that it made the dough darker than it would have been.)

The Royal Icing recipe. (We did the recipe with egg whites to save money. Meringue powder is a more expensive novelty ingredient - unless your a pro cake decorator I guess. But, we were fine with raw egg whites being used in the house.)

TIP: When/If you decided to take on this project, make sure you have a heavy duty mixer available, or just some good friends who do. ;)


  1. You guys are crazy. We did a kit and that was enough hassel for us. But it looks beautiful. Good job.

  2. email me Jami. I sent a message to your other blog address, want to talk with you.



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