Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gingerbread Houses

My Gingerbread recipe is allergy free.  I make gingerbread cake and gingerbread cookies, but for houses, the cookie dough is what is needed.  

My kids gave me a cast iron gingerbread mold years ago. You are supposed to bake the pieces in the mold, but I just use it to shape and stamp the pieces. This way I can make more than one house at a time. Then I let the house components dry overnight. Letting them dry insures that the stamped designs for the roof and doors will not bake out.  

A cast iron mold is not needed. Instead cut shapes (2rectangles for the house sides, 2 rectangles for the roof, 2 pieces that are made from a square with a triangle top for the shorter side and the gable.  

However you cut the shapes, when you bake them, they bump up.  So when they are cool, trim them so remove the bumps and make them as even as possible. 

Royal icing works well for putting the houses together and decorating them. However it is full of egg whites and if that's an allergy problem, as it is for us, use this simple method.

Hot glue the houses together. Let's face it. No one is going to eat the gingerbread house after it has been sitting out for a month... and if they want to eat it, hot glue peels off as easily as a cellophane label.  

I use an icing made with confectioner's sugar, rice milk and a bit of corn syrup. It should be stiff. It requires a bit more patience than royal icing, so just hold the decorative candies in place for a minute or two, or apply the glue, wait a minute until it sets up and then stick the decoration on.

Enjoy!