Saturday, December 26, 2009

gingerbread house

Every year my mom makes gingerbread houses for the little kids to decorate. When we were little she would make 12 - one for each kid and a friend. This year it was just my sweet little niece (with the help of her mom and two eager aunts). Anyway, usually she makes it from really hard gingerbread in a cast iron mold and assembles it with royal icing. However, this year she decided to follow a recipe in the Martha Stewart 2009 Holiday cooking special edition of her magazine. It is a Swedish Gingerbread House held together with melted sugar instead of icing.

Here is the house after it was assembled. The melted sugar was HOT and we let it sort of burn toward the end (thus the dark color). Looks pretty good and felt sturdy.

Here is the house the following morning. I should note that there is VERY high humidity here now (lots of rain). The sugar holding the house together has started to soften and soak into the gingerbread.

We got to decorating. I couldn't find this page online, but here are some suggested frosting techniques. For one side of the roof I went for the "scalloped patterned roof with snow" look.

Starting in on the roof.

The finished product - I thought it looked pretty good! After doing one side of the roof, I turned the rest of the house over to my niece.

Here she is with the finished product! We added a red skittle to her nose which lasted just long enough for me to take this picture! I think she ate more candy than she managed to get on the house. :)

Did I mention it was humid? We made the house on Thursday morning and by Thursday night it looked like this. I then realized that Martha lives in Maine... and what works in Maine in freezing weather might not work so well in humid Louisiana. Our gingerbread house looks like it was hit by Katrina!

For reference, here is what our gingerbread houses usually look like - smaller, but able to withstand the elements a little better!

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