Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gingerbread House

I've been wanting to make a gingerbread house for years, but I'm always so busy around the holidays, it just hasn't happened...until now! This year I planned ahead and did it bit by bit. One day I made the dough. Another day I rolled & baked it. Another day I assembled the basic house. The next day I shingled the roof. You get the idea. Little by little it came together and eventually I had myself an actual, bonafide gingerbread house.

But I can't take all the credit because I used a template from a book called Gingerbread for All Seasons by Teresa Layman. It's an amazing book full of gorgeous gingerbread houses (for all kinds of occasions) with instructions and a template for making each one. I used the template for the "Nantucket Cottage" and then made mine more wintery (the original one was set in spring).

At first I thought it would be so nice to live in this house. But between the shotty roof work, no running water, and the fact that none of the doors actually open...I decided not so much. Besides, I don't think I can get that small, no matter how many rice cakes I eat. 

I might not be back until some time around the new year, so Happy Holidays to you all!

arranging templates on rolled dough
dough cut outs
baked pieces
assembling the house with royal icing
putting the roof on
basic house and bench assembled

I didn't remember to take photos of every single step. In case
you're curious, the chimney is made by dying some dough red
with food coloring and then scoring the dough before baking
to make the brick pattern. Then you rub white royal icing in
the cracks to make it look like bricks.
putting shingles on the roof (wheat chex)
roof done
I used necco wafers to make the stones for the walkway.
I spread icing around the house and then sprinkled it with a
little unsweetened shredded coconut to make it look like snow.

I also sprinkled the "snow" with a little edible disco dust from the
baking store to give it a little sparkle - like real, freshly fallen snow.
I sprinkled the roof with confectioners sugar to look like more snow.
I piped green royal icing on ice cream cones to make the trees.
finishing touches added: lantern (gumdrop and black royal icing), wood
pile (pretzels), icicles, wreath and trees (sprinkled with confectioners sugar).
closeup look

I don't know what I was thinking when I piped
that wreath - it should have a hole in the middle.
I didn't do much in the back. I had planned on making
a snowman, but I didn't have enough time. But I did make
a hole back there because I had a brilliant plan to light up
the house using glow sticks (glow bracelets, actually).
As you can see, it only managed to light up one window.
Plus it turns out I only had blue and green glow
bracelets. So really, it was a pretty bad plan.
These are the gingerbread and royal icing recipes from the book.
I wouldn't make this gingerbread for cookies to snack on
(I have a feeling this recipe was created for its sturdiness, not its
tastiness). It's basically edible dry wall. Ideal for construction.

I contacted the author of Gingerbread for all Seasons, Teresa Layman,
and asked her if I could post the actual templates on my blog for my readers to use. She responded right away and said yes (love her!). But I couldn't figure out a way to keep the sizes accurate. So if you're interested in the templates, just send me an email (to the address on the bottom of the about me page of my blog) and I'll email a pdf to you. Thank you Teresa! (I hope I'm not being presumptuous calling you by your first name...I feel we have a real gingerbread connection now.)

My daughter made a gingerbread house too.
Hers has way more excitement & pizzazz. If mine is
Nantucket, hers is Vegas (or maybe Candyland).


Anonymous said...

I love them both!


Unknown said...

That is just incredible!!!

Not sure if you changed the design layout of the site recently, but it looks awesome too.

I'm going to post a link to this on Google+ Are you on that?

Randi said...

Can't get over the pile of (pretzel) logs. Looks so real. Whole thing is beautiful and brilliant.

Susan said...

Thanks (to all of you)!

@Jared: I'm not Google+ (at least not yet). I've been waiting to see how other people like it first. I can only handle one social media site at a time (Facebook so far). Maybe I'll check it out soon. Merry Christmas!

Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares said...

This is wonderful! I think you could redecorate for Halloween and use that glow stick, which I think makes it look like a haunted house.

Judie Cleland said...

Your house is beautiful and again, you are so creative. Great job.
Like mother, like daughter--Maddie's house is great too.♥♥♥

Shanae said...

I've sent you an email for the templates. I hope to create this house this Christmas. Yours is amazing!

Susan said...

Hi Shanae...I sent you the template (if you didn't get it, let me know). Merry Christmas!

BrookeJean said...

What type of a tip did you use for making the trees!? Gorgeous house!


Susan said...

I used a star tip. Since they're pine trees, I wanted them to have a spiky look, instead of a leafy look.

Jane said...

Hello loved your house... is it possible to have the templates please?
Thank you

Susan said...

Hi Jane, If you send me an email, I'll attach the templates for you: (don't worry, I won't give your email address to anyone or send you other stuff - I just don't have a way to attach the file here). Best, Susan

Unknown said...

Your house is so beautiful. Wish I could make one this year

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