How to make a gingerbread house step by step
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It’s definitely non Italian but the gingerbread house is one of those things everyone should try to make at home at least once, just to give the house a special Christmassy feeling. That’s the reason why I’ve embarked myself in this adventure and that’s why I want to share with you my step by step tutorial to create a perfect gingerbread house for Christmas.
The recipe of the house is really simple because the biscuits are made using a ginger flavored dough which is then modeled in the shape of an house; all the decorations are personal and can be arranged in the way each of us prefer. We can use chocolate, candies, sugar o any another thing we think it’s good to make our house perfect.
The making of the gingerbread house requires a little bit of time but if you start in the morning then it will be ready by the end of the day and you will eat it the next day, in time or Christmas. Plan the perfect size takes much longer to make than bake it, get ready!
What you need for a gingerbread house (average size)
For the biscuits
300 grams of butter
500 grams of sugar
1 tablespoon f baking powder
100 grams of honey
1 kg of flour
200 ml of water
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon cloves
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon cardamom
1 teaspoon black pepper
For the royal icing
4 egg whites
800 grams of powdered sugar
2 drops of fresh lemon
How to make the gingerbread house
1. Melt the butter then add the sugar and the honey, stirring well.
2. Mix the spices, the flour and the baking powder and add the melted butter. Add the water to get a homogeneous mixture that does not stay attached to the fingers (it may take less or more of the recommended dosage, depends on the type of flour you’re using and its strength).
3. Mix everything well and, when ready, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 7 hours.
4. After 7 hours take the dough out of the fridge, roll it out to a maximum height of 3 cm and cut shapes for the house using special molds or just your imagination.
5. Place in the oven and cook for up to 7 minutes at 180° (or 356°F) being careful not to burn the biscuits and also not to overcook them otherwise, when they are going to stick, they will break. Once cooked, let them cool.
6. Prepare the royal icing beating the egg whites and lemon until stiff then add the powdered sugar a little at a time. Continue to beat until the frosting comes up without lumps and it appears quite lucid.
7. Compose your gingerbread house attacking the various parts made of biscuits to each other using royal icing as glue and use glasses for supporting the various parts of the house waiting for them to stick together. Allow to stick for at least 2 hours.
8. Once curdled, decorate the house as you prefer using royal icing to glue the pieces (candy, colored buttons, etc etc). Leave coagulate all other elements for at least 1 hour.
Preparation time: +12 hours
General advices to make a perfect gingerbread house
1. You can store the cookie dough in the freezer for at least a month;
2. Instead of making the icing yourself you can just buy edible (and eventually colored) glue to be used to compose your house;
3. Always let your gingerbread house dry before decorating it. If you want to decorate the pieces one by one then you’ve to make sure all of them are completely dry before gluing them together;
4. Keep your gingerbread away from any sources of moisture and heat otherwise it will soften up very easily;
5. You can also use melted sugar as the glue;
6. Cut your dough using a pizza cutter for a better effect.
How to make a gingerbread house, step by step: