Monthly Archives: November 2012

Make Your Own Gingerbread House: Part 1 Construction

Jillian is making a gingerbread house.  Here's how she baked and constructed the house.

Whenever she gets around to finishing it, we'll post "Part 2: Decorating." Hopefully over the weekend.

Gingerbread Recipe
Compliments of JennaDish

Recipe from Simply Recipes 

6 cups all purpose

teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons ground
4 teaspoons ground
1/2 teaspoon ground
cloves or allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (12
Tbsp) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed
light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup dark molasses
1 Tbsp water

Gingerbread Dough:

Whisk together the
dry ingredients in a large bowl, set aside.

Using an electric
mixer, beat on medium speed the butter and brown sugar until fluffy and well
blended. Beat in the eggs, molasses and water until well combined. 

Beat half of the
flour mixture into the molasses mixture until well blended and smooth. Stir in
the remaining flour. Knead (or use your mixer's dough hook) until well blended.
If dough is too soft, add a little more flour.

Wrap the dough in
plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours, preferably overnight. You can
make it up to 3 days ahead of time. Let sit at room temperature for at least 10
minutes before rolling out.

Royal Icing
MAKES 3 cups icing

4 cups confectioner's sugar
3 Tablespoons meringue powder
6 Tablespoons lukewarm water

Beat ingredients until glossy, and peaks form when you lift the mixer.  (See photo further below) This will take 7-12 minutes on low to medium speed, depending on your mixer).

This dries VERY quickly, so cover it while it's sitting out, with a damp dish towel.  To store and use later, seal in airtight container and refrigerate for a day or two.  The sooner the better.

Divide the dough ball in two and wrap separately. This will help it become cold faster, but also, will give you the right size when it's time to roll it out.  You'll see.


While the dough is chilling, make the templates for the house parts.

Jillian got the pattern from here.  

The pdf of this pattern is here: 
Download Gingerbread House Template

Cut a sheet of parchment paper to the size of your cookie sheet.  Then roll the dough out to about 1/4" thick, in a rectangle the same size as the paper. 

Cut out the pieces on the paper, then lift the excess dough away, leaving this…


Dough pieces!


Rolling tip:  Roll from the middle out to near the edge. Then rotate and repeat.  If you keep rolling the edges, it will get thin and break apart.  Also, this method will allow you to roll the dough evenly. 



And there you have it.  A naked gingerbread house. 


Hasselback Potatoes

Hasselback Potatoes
My new favorite potato!

Hasselback Potatoes
Compliments of JennaDish

Use about 2 medium to 4 small potatoes per serving, and about 1 garlic clove per 2 or 3 potatoes

Yellow Potatoes (or Yukon Gold Potatoes)
salt & pepper
garlic cloves, sliced thin or minced
your favorite spice blend for potatoes (I used Penzey's Arizona Dreamin' Spice Blend)
Curry ketchup, optional (squeeze ketchup in a small dish and stir in a pinch of curry powder) 

Wash potatoes.  Make slices into each potato every 1/8" inch, only cutting down to 3/4 of the potato.  To make this easier, put the potato in a wooden spoon and slice the potato, allowing the spoon to stop the knife just short of cutting all the way through.  Place potatoes in large saucepan of cold water and bring to a boil.  Then lower the heat to keep the water at a low boil.  Boil about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  When the potatoes have boiled so they are about halfway cooked, drain them, and put them on a baking sheet in the oven to allow the heat to dry them – about 4-5 minutes. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Then place pieces or slices of garlic clove into the potato slices – about 2-3 slices of garlic per potato.  Melt some butter or use oil to cover the potatoes.  Sprinkle salt, pepper and/or a spice blend on the potatoes.

Roast until cooked through, about 30 minutes, turning halfway through.