This is my first real post! I am an avid baker, so I decided to join the “Daring Bakers” group. I am always looking to try new things in the kitchen. I felt that joining this group would give me the opportunity to try to make things that I wouldn’t usually come up with on my own.
The December challenge was to make a Gingerbread House. This is the fourth Christmas that I have been with my husband, Joe, and for each of those years he has practically begged me to make a Gingerbread House. So, on December 1st when I found out what the challenge was, he was of course excited and eager to help me out.
Joe and I were trying to work together to come up with a creative idea for the House. I am not much of the artist/architect, so Joe said that he would measure out and make the stencils for the house when we came up with an idea. So, after much brainstorming we decided on a tudor cottage. For as long a I can remember I have been practically obsessed with English Tudor style houses, so this was perfect. Joe came up with a sketch, and the stencils. I made the dough and cut out the pieces using the Scandanavian recipe. I chose that one because I had more of the ingredients on hand. Plus I thought that since it wasn’t such a rich dough I would avoid eating some of it… yeah, definitely ate a lot of dough. Good thing it had no raw eggs :)
I did all of the prep work on Sunday. Joe was off work on Tuesday, so we decided to do our construction that day. Earlier that morning we made a grocery store pit stop to pick up some candy/decorations. Joe decide that the best way to make the house look like a tudor would be to cover all the outer walls with a creamy colored royal icing to look like stucco.
While the stucco was drying, Joe used his pastry skills to make 3 ice cream cones look like Christmas Trees! I thought that they came out awesome, and I really want him to show me how to make them.
After we “stucco’d” (is that a word?) the house, we constructed the outer walls and the roof, and took a short break while the royal icing dried. Our dog was asleep under the Christmas tree for the entire construction of the house (there’s a cute pic below – his name is Sawyer).
After the house was dried, time to decorate! Joe did the tudor look, the front step, and the chimney out of cut Voortman chocolate wafer cookies. I shingled the roof with dark chocolate nonpareils. I also made the walkway out of cinnamon pull and peel and chocolate covered peanuts to look like cobblestones. Then we both worked on the candy cane fence. That part took a while because we kept having to prop the candy canes up with boxes and silverware until the royal icing dried. We finished up the decorating by making windows out of Cinnamon Puffins cereal and attaching the Christmas Trees. Then, we made a snowman out of leftover dough, royal icing, and coconut. We also put a pile of Cadbury shell candies to look like snowballs next to the snowman. We finished up with a sprinkle of coconut and powdered sugar for some fallen snow. Hope you all enjoy. We had a blast making the house and we are quite proud of it. Sorry all the pics are lumped below, I’m still not sure how to get them in the middle of the post :(