- Finding a great gingerbread recipe is important, but after making the dough chill it for at least 1 hour in the fridge before rolling it out. If the dough starts to get soft, pop it back in the fridge until it is easy to work with again.
- Parchment paper is your friend! After rolling out the dough, be careful not to stretch or distort your pieces while trying to move them. Rolling the dough out on parchment paper allows easy movement from table to cookie sheets.
- Chill is the name of the game. Place your cut-outs in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before baking. This helps the cut outs keep their shape while baking.
- A good Royal icing recipe is fundamental to keeping your structure together. Icing should be pliable when wet and solid when dry to build a sturdy gingerbread structure. Royal Icing recipes use egg whites or, as our bakers preferred, meringue powder.
- Assemble the house in advance of when you want to decorate. A dry, sturdy house is much easier to decorate than one that falls apart as you work.
- Look no further than your pantry for support. Canned goods, even water bottles can be used for great structural support while assembling the walls. One of our bakers even used Popsicle sticks to brace together the graham cracker walls.
- A small hacksaw with fine teeth will help give a clean cut on all your hard candies and chocolate bars. And I was told every dad should have one. So if your toolbox is missing this mighty piece of equipment put the word out about this awesome stocking stuffer!
- Candy decorations! Embellishments make your gingerbread house your own. Use coconut for snow covered roofs with M&M’s or Skittles to define the ridge peaks or vent. Shaved chocolate makes perfect mulch! Jolly rancher candies melt nicely for the perfect stained glass window. Peppermint candy canes come in many shapes and sizes and are perfect for the balcony or columns. And don’t forget Santa and his Reindeer on the roof!
Taking our Farmhouse blueprint and adapting the design to a gingerbread pattern was a fun holiday project. But you know what was better? Seeing the creativity it inspired among our clients, family and friends was priceless. We’ve already received requests for next year’s pattern. And even a request to judge a gingerbread house contest! Do you have any gingerbread house suggestions for next year? We’d love to hear from you!
The creative process of designing, building and decorating your very own gingerbread house has many similarities to the design/build process for your own home building project. The possibilities are endless. For a copy of this pattern or other design resources visit our website.
#gingerbread #farmhouse #baking