When I was a kid, I used to decorate gingerbread houses with my brothers, I mostly remember trying to put as much candy on the house as possible and at the same time, secretly shoving candy into my mouth when mom wasn’t watching. Ah, good times. As I got older, I started baking gingerbread houses with my grandmother. My grandmother is an amazing cook and baker; she’s the one who gave me this recipe, it’s very easy to follow and the dough always comes out amazing.
Go shopping for:
200g of Sugar
100g of Butter
5 fl. oz (roughly) of Molasses
5. fl oz of Heavy cream
1 tbsp Baking soda (dissolved in a little water)
4 – 5 Cups of Flour
1 tbsp each of the following spices: Cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger (all spices should be bought ground, unless you absolutely feel like grinding them yourself, perhaps I’m just lazy).
When I say roughly, it’s because this is a Swedish recipe with Swedish measurements so I’ve changed it to American. Damn us Europeans and our metric system. What’s important is that you add the same amount of molasses as heavy cream.
1. Leave the butter out for a good while before you start, so that it softens. Mix butter and sugar together.
2. Pour in molasses (remember to breathe through your mouth, molasses has a distinct smell) and heavy cream and mix.
3. Add spices, since I think molasses have such a strong taste I usually add more spices, then the original recipe says, about two tablespoon of each spice, or more. Again mix! 4. Add the baking soda that you have dissolved in some water.
5. Add Flour, little by little. At the end work the dough with your hands until it’s smooth and shiny. And your dough is ready to be baked! Some recipes for gingerbread demands for the dough to rest for a day, but not this one. It’s easy to make and ready to use right away! Putting houses together, there’s two ways. I’ve noticed that in America it’s common to use Royal frosting as “glue”, the problem with this is if the frosting is too thin (i.e. not enough powdered sugar in the frosting), then it will take forever for it to dry and the house will fall apart as you are putting it together. How I do it, very simple, I melt some granulated sugar in a thick-bottomed pan and use that as glue. Just be careful because the sugar is really hot and you can get burnt. What I like about melted sugar is that as soon as it cools, it hardens and will keep your house together forever, or you know, until you start eating it.
Oh no, I’m meeeelting…
Remember also to have all you pieces to your house next to you when you’re putting it together, because you have to be quick. The sugar cools very fast. I had a little helper helping me to decorate my many houses, little helper Stacy. When decorating your house, just have fun with it, use a lot of candy and color your icing in different colors. I love being utterly childish when I’m decorating them.
Stacy’s colorful houses
I think Stacy was going for as much candy and icing as possible, according to her I was mostly just eating candy and not decorating, I guess some things never change.
Have fun decorating!!