Monday, December 3, 2012

braving it again

This year it was not Christmas, not haunted, and not eaten by critters.  This year I did not design it and our family did not eat it alone.

This year Pook designed a fancy, three room gingerbread house in order to share it at Grandma's house for Thanksgiving.  Although Bug, his Nana and I had made three pies, the gingerbread  house was nibbled upon by cousins, an uncle and Grandad (who nibbled off a whole row of candycorn when he didn't know anyone was looking!)  I've posted the recipe before but I'll include it at the bottom for you again.

I should send a thank you to Alpha for introducing us to this tradition.  The first years we made one house per family, all at his home. Each family brought candy to share. The big gingerbread men were decorated and eaten immediately, allowing the families to bring the houses home as decor for a few days before consumption.

Gingerbread through the years:

The first gingerbread house, 2006

Gingerbread house, 2007

Our haunted gingerbread house, 2008
Santa in the chimney 2009
Haunted again in 2010
The ill-fated gingerbread house of 2011

The recipe (in text) and traditional house patterns (pdf) are at thanks to Alpha!

The dough is easy to make and it tastes great.  I use store bought icing in a tube because it sets up so fast.  The pick-a-mix candies vary, and the items made in the "yard" vary depending on what candies we have.  (Tootsie rolls make good woodpiles.)

1c. butter
1c. sugar
1/2c. molasses
2 eggs
1/4t nutmeg
1/2t salt
1/2t baking soda
1/2t cloves
2t ginger
2t cinnamon
5c. flour

Cream butter and sugar, add egg and molasses, mix in dry ingredients.  I chill it overnight but I'm not convinced it is necessary.  I roll it thin 1/8"? onto parchment paper, cut the shapes and remove the excess so I don't have to lift the house pieces.  It makes one house plus 24 large gingerbread cookies.  I lowered the oven temp to 300 this year and baked them about 10  minutes.  Keep a close eye on them b/c you don't want them to get dark but if the pieces are still soft they'll be more fragile. We use two tubes of white frosting to assemble and decorate.

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