Category Archives: How To

Make Your Own Gingerbread House: Part 2 Decorating

Merry Christmas!!!

Finishing our Gingerbread House on Christmas Eve wasn't what I had planned, but it was fun!

How to Use Necco Wafers on Gingerbread House

 If you missed how to bake and construct your own Gingerbread House, click HERE.

Gingerbread House

And here's the full scene.  Gingerbread House with Chimney, Candy Walkway with Bridge, Gum Drop Snowman, and Dog House with Dog and Doggie Poo.   Oh yes, and snow.

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If you're in a hurry, or have little patience, make sure to have a large tip on hand to pipe large amounts of icing quickly.  And have a smaller tip for smaller areas.

Gingerbread House 1

We used Necco wafers in overlapping rows for the shingled roof (below).  We used broken wafers for a stucco look on the front (above).  The large peppermint poles that look like barber shop poles are Bob's Sweet Stripes Soft Mint Candy.  The candy canes at the door are just classic candy canes.  The pathway to the house is made with Nerds and AirHeads Extremes Sweetly Sour Belts. The shutters on the window are fruit slices.

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To make the shingled roof, pipe a large stripe of icing and smoosh the wafer in.  Make sure to start at the bottom of the roof, then add an overlapping row with the new row of wafers placed in between the row below. 

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The sides of the house are decorated with Air Heads Xtremes Sweetly Sour Belts.  They are super easy to cut and paste on the side of the house.  Use your small tip to place a thin stripe of icing on the side of the house where the strips will go, or place the icing on the back of the strip.  Just don't use the smooshing technique here.  You want a clean look.

I was short on time, short on icing, and short on ideas for the back of the house. So I used the small tip to pipe some random icing on the back, like this ….

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…then I cut large marshmallows in 4 slices each, dipped the sticky side in sugar, and stuck the other side against the house (see below for the marshmallow look and above to see how little icing you need for it all to stick). Once all the marshmallows are on, you can continue to use your small tip to fill in the exposed areas with more icing. 


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I used Raisinettes for the chimney.  Cut them in half with a sharp knife and be careful of the crumbs.

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Twizzlers would also be good for the roof.  We used them below for the dog house.  The photo below shows the back of the houses.

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And this is the front of the dog house 

Gingerbread Dog House from Graham Crackers

Alyssa made this dog house out of graham crackers.  The candy canes are from CVS drug store, and were surprisingly easy to cut fairly cleanly.  She made a dog by cutting up a large marshmallow or two, and covering it with frosting. The eyes are Nerds, the ears and "poopy" pile are Santa's Coal Bubble Gum, which I bought at CVS drug store.

Gum Drop Snowman Necco Wafers Gingerbread House
And here's a little snow man made of gum drops, icing and Nerds.  Finish it all of by slapping on lots of icing on the base, using a rubber spatula.  Work quickly – it dries fast. While it's wet, sprinkle plain white sugar (lightly), or use edible, clear or white cake sparkles to look like glistening snow.

Good Luck!

Make Your Own Gingerbread House: Part 1 Construction

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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
flour

1/2
teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons ground
ginger
4 teaspoons ground
cinnamon
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).

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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.

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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.

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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

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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…

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Dough pieces!

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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. 

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And there you have it.  A naked gingerbread house. 

 

How to Press Tofu Quickly

How to Press Tofu
Drain the liquid from the extra-firm tofu, gently squeeze more of the water out with your clean hands, wrap in a few layers of paper towel or better yet, an absorbent, lint-free kitchen towel (like a bar towel – no terry cloth).  Wrap that in plastic to keep things from getting wet.  Stack something heavy on top to press out the remaining moisture.  Do this for about 10-30 minutes – however much time you have.

You will have tofu that looks like this … easy to cut.

Pressed Tofu