Mini Gingerbread House | Chinese Recipes at TheHongKongCookery.com

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Mini gingerbread houses!  Oh what fun it is to bling out our house, hey!  Instead of making one big gingerbread house to adorn our Christmas table we decided this year to make lotsa mini gingerbread houses so that we could spread the love by gifting them to friends and family.  

These mini ginger bread houses are soooo cute, if I say so myself, and just the perfect little gift.   My little girl and I had so much fun blinging these wee houses and are totally excited for gift opening day!

Here’s the template for our mini gingerbread house that I drew up.  You can down load our template here.  You will need to print it out on a sheet of paper, stick it on some cardboard and then cut it out.  I was too impatient to wait for proper drying and so, as you can see, some of the edges crinkled up…oops…my bad.

Also you’ve probably realized that the two ‘house side’ and the two ‘roof side’ templates are actually the same size.  You can just make one of each of these templates and then remember to cut out two of each of these for each house you want to make.  I just drew it out like this to help me keep count. 

There’s also a chimney in the template, cuz chimneys rock, but unfortunately I forgot to add them onto the houses before I decorated the roof.  So no chimneys for us ;(  But I encourage you to got for it, it looks great and you can add a bit of cotton stuffing as the smoke.  Looks brilliant!

Once you’ve got your gingerbread house templates cut out just lay them out on rolled out gingerbread dough.  Use a sharp knife to cut out cookie shapes according to the template.  

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Carefully lift the cookie cut outs and place them on the cookie sheet.  This part requires some care as too much pulling or pushing can distort the shapes.  If the cookies do get knocked out of shape or the edges need smoothing just use the flat edge of your knife or small spatula to push/smooth back into shape.  If it gets too messed up just reroll the dough and do over.

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This gingerbread cookie dough bakes fast, doesn’t spread too much and smells and tastes heavenly of spices.

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On to the fun part, decorating!  Here we use royal icing made with egg white and sugar to decorate the house side cookies, see our little windows!  This icing is amazing stuff, able to make all the decorative lines your heart desires as well as to dry to a hard consistency that will hold your house together firmly.

Please check out our easy recipe for royal icing below as well as our method for pasteurizing the egg whites before using for the frosting.

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Here we are decorating the front house and back house cookies.  Royal icing to outline and add swirls etc.   Various sprinkles and crystalized sugars used to add bling.  Stick them on with a bit of icing.  So fun!

The icing takes time to dry.  Don’t touch it before it’s dry, tho, you’ll just dent the darn thing.  Once it’s dried however, it’s rock steady!

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Here is the more complicated decoration for the roof cookie.  Scallops accented with sparkly crystal sugars.  Bling, bling!  As you decorate remember that the royal icing will start drying once applied.  So any thing you want to stick to the icing must be sprinkled or applied quickly.

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Once the decorations are completely dried it’s time to glue the house together.  Use the royal icing to glue the cookies together.  Use a salt shaker or two or something similar to help the house sides stay in upright position as the ‘glue’ dries.  Now it’s time to wait again.  Using a fan can help speed the drying process.

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When the glue holding the house together is dry it’s time to add on the roof.  Again apply the royal icing ‘glue’ and add on the roof cookie slabs, one at a time.  Hold the roof slab in position until it’s dry enough that it will not slip down.  Then repeat for the other side.

The last decorating bit is one that I love – adding the icicles!  So fun to do and looks so awesome.  To make icicles pipe a thick line of icing along one edge of the roof.  Then, pointing the tip of the piping bag up, push a bit of icing out of the bag and stick that bit of icing up onto the underside of that line of frosting.  It will stick together.  Pull the piping bag straight down and you will see the icicle appear like magic.  Cool, eh?

Once it’s completely dry your wee gingerbread house to ready to decorate your Christmas table or to package in a pretty box as a gift.  Ain’t these mini gingerbread houses just the cutiest things you ever did see?  We loved them so much!  Small and magical and perfect.  Okay folksies, HK Cookery out…Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

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Mini Gingerbread House Recipe
(makes 4 houses, adapted from recipe here)  
Prep time: Cook time: 

Ingredients:

Directions:

Make Gingerbread Dough: 

Make the Dough: Beat butter until fluffy, then add sugar and beat in til smooth.  Add egg and beat in.  Add maple syrup and mix in until combined.  

Sift flour with ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cardamom.  Now add the 1/4 of the dry ingredients into butter mixture and mix until combined.  Repeat until all the dry ingredients are just incorporated and a dough is formed.  

Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5 hours or until hard enough to roll out.

Prepare template: Download our mini gingerbread house template here.  Print out on a sheet of paper, glue to some cardboard.  When dry cut out the house template pieces.

Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC).

Cut out the cookies: Lightly flour working surface and roll out a piece of gingerbread dough to 1/4″ thickness.

Place template cutouts on top of the dough, leaving some space between shapes. Use a sharp knife to cut dough along template edges.  

Remove excess dough.  Very carefully lift the cookies and place onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Gather dough and reroll out and repeat  previous steps for the other four mini houses.

Bake the cookies: Bake for 10-13 mins at 350ºF (175ºC) or until the gingerbread is just darkened at the edges.  Start checking at 10 mins as ovens run at different temperatures.  Remove and let cool completely before decorating and building the gingerbread house.  

Make the royal icing  (recipe below) in the meanwhile.

Build the Mini Gingerbread House:

Place the cookies on flat surface.  Pipe royal icing decorations on side, front and back walls and roof.  If adding bling add immediately after piping royal icing so that it may stick.  When happy with the decorations let dry completely.

Place two walls together and use icing to glue together.  Support walls while the icing is drying.  Use a fan to speed up drying time.  Repeat for all walls until all four houses (w/o roofs) are formed.  Let dry completely.

When the wall glue is dried it’s time to glue on the roofs, again using royal icing.  Hold the pieces in place as needed to allow icing to dry enough to hold together.

To add icicles pipe a thickish line of icing (snow) along one edge of the roof.  Pipe out a tiny bit of icing, stick that tiny bit of icing to the underside of the ‘snow’ and pull straight down.  Ta-da, an icicle!  Repeat for all roof edges.

Enjoy your Mini Gingerbread House!   Lotsa Xmas love from all of us at The Hong Kong Cookery!!

Royal Icing Recipe
Prep time: 7 mins  Cook time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups icing sugar

Directions:

Pasteurize the eggs – Add room temperature eggs to a small pot with water to cover.  Cook over medium heat until the temperature reaches 150 F° (65 C°).  Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 3 mins.  Remove and rinse under cold water until cool.  

Separate egg white and yolk.  The egg white might have bits of white in it.  This is normal and okay.  Reserve egg yolk for other uses.

Make the Icing: Beat egg whites and vanilla til frothy.  Add the sugar little by little until incorporated and shiny.  Using high speed, beat till smooth and shiny.

The icing should have a consistency like toothpaste.  If too flowy add a bit more icing sugar.  If too stiff add a tiny bit of water*.

Add appropriate tip to piping bag and scoop in icing.  We used two bags, one with a very small piping tip for detail designs and another thicker one for gluing and bolder lines.  You’re ready to pipe!

*Tip:  Use a water spray bottle to add water to icing to thin out.  Much easier to control the water amount.

Christmas Creative at The Hong Kong Cookery:

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