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. To see some beautiful Gingerbread Houses go to the Daring Kitchen Blogroll and check some out!
This month's challenge had to be done on the road as we were away for the Christmas holidays. After reading numerous comments concerning difficulties with the recipes provided I started to worry about a failed attempt. As it turned out, Lee had a recipe and pattern already tucked away from making Gingerbread Houses with her kids when they were younger. I decided immediately that I would use her recipe and pattern rather than taking any chances. I really liked how her pattern had next to no waste. I also liked that the cookie was baked in one piece, and the house pieces were cut out immediately after removing the cookie from the oven. No worries about pieces shrinking in the oven and not fitting properly. Although this recipe is very similar to one of the provided recipes....I liked the scaled back size of the recipe as I was not so interested in using 8 cups of flour. It all worked perfectly....thanks to Lee! I used only the royal icing to glue the building pieces together and could have made a 1/2 batch and it still would have been plenty......and I let Ike do the decorating.......so really this is part Ike's challenge too:) He had a lot of fun!!
Auntie Lee's Gingerbread House
2 3/4 cup sifted flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
2/3 cup molasses
1/8 tsp cloves
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamom
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
Mix thoroughly and chill for several hours (overnight or longer). Roll dough onto an oiled piece of foil to fit the pan. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 300F for 20-30 minutes. Place pattern pieces on hot bread and cut immediately. Lift out carefully and cool on a cake rack. The gingerbread should be very hard when cool (if necessary, the pieces can be laid back on the cookie sheet in the oven for five or ten minutes longer). The roof sections will break off if the dough is not thoroughly baked.
3 egg whites at room temperature
1 lb (4 cups) icing sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Beat thoroughly in a mixing bowl until the icing stands in peaks, then keep the bowl covered at all times with a damp cloth, as this icing dries very quickly and becomes very hard.
Decorate with a variety of hard candies.