Christmas in July with Gingerbread and Marzipan

Gingerbread has been a highlight of Christmas for as long as I can remember. My great-grandmother decorated the piano top with her creations, and even made the local newspaper. She taught my mom how to make gingerbread houses, and my mom has made them with me and my sister throughout our lives. My first gingerbread house was Pluto’s Doghouse, and my favorite was the Hogwarts Express.

Gluten Free Gingerbread House and Marzipan

Might not have been the most helpful here :)

Now, before my celiac diagnosis I only knew how to bake gingerbread and chocolate chip cookies. I didn’t want to lose either of those traditions. So last year, when I was 11 months into my celiac lifestyle, I made my first gluten free gingerbread house!

No gluten, milk, eggs, safflower, tapioca, rosemary, cinnamon, or annatto. :)

Christmas 2013: No gluten, milk, eggs, safflower, tapioca, rosemary, cinnamon, or annatto. Check out a video here!

While completely edible, we never eat our gingerbread houses! They stay out for up to two months (Thanksgiving – January), so the candy would be quite stale!

To meet my celiac and allergy needs I changed  just a few ingredients from my great-grandmother’s original gingerbread recipe, such as the flour and cinnamon. In fact, my frosting contains pectin, instead of meringue. But my sister’s friend and I were the only two to eat this VERY tart treat. I’ve researched a few better testing recipes to try out this Christmas! 🎅

While I was perfectly happy with this house, I still have A LOT of gingerbread skills to develop. The one I chose to focus on while celebrating Christmas in July was marzipan. I’ve never had a homemade piece of marzipan on my gingerbread house before, so here’s my first creation!

Christmas in July with Gingerbread and Marzipan

A sneak peak in case you don’t read all the way to the end!

Now, I didn’t have a mixer, rolling pan, or anything you would traditionally expect while making my marzipan. I used my hands and made a MESS with the powdered sugar, but had a blast at the same time.

My First Batch of Marzipan

Allergens: Contains almonds. Celiac friendly, and free of the rest of the Big 8.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of whole almonds almonds (≈ 4 cups)
  • ⅓ cup of water
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • 3¼ cup of sugar
  • 4 tbsp. corn syrup
  • More powdered sugar than I could count (more than six cups, less than 8)
  • Food coloring (optional)

Procedure

  1. Blanch the bag of almonds (≈ 4 cups).GF, DF, EF Marzipan
  2. Grind the almonds in the food processor. This is most efficiently done in batches, but place all the batches in the food processor when done.

    GF & Vegan Marzipan

    The Proud Food Processor

  3. Boil  the honey, sugar, and  water in a pan. Slowly add the sugar mixture to the ground almonds (IN THE FOOD PROCESSOR), and mix until smooth.
  4. Place in the refrigerator overnight to form “almond paste.”GF, Vegan Marzipan
  5. Add corn syrup and powdered sugar to your “almond paste.” Mix until smooth. Keep adding powdered sugar until your marzipan is of the desired consistency. GF, Vegan Marzipan
  6. Add a food dye to make color marzipan. (I used gel food coloring). Seal and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.GF, Vegan Marzipan
  7. Shape to your heart’s content. Best to keep the marzipan wrapped in saran wrap until you’re ready to use it, so it doesn’t dry out. GF, Vegan Marzipan

Tips and Tricks

  • While not finely polished, this recipe is still standing strong in my kitchen. 🙂GF, Vegan Marzipan
  • If you want the recipe for this gluten free gingerbread, check out my previous post, Gingerbread Magic.
  • Want to host a gingerbread house party?! My post, Gingerbread Decorating Party, will teach you how to make it allergy friendly for all your guests.

Finally, for my friends joining me from Fiesta Friday #24, I made you each a homemade card this week! (Doodles are one of my favorite ways to relax on the weekend). Hope you’re enjoying a little bit of Christmas in July!  

Christmas in July with Gingerbread and Marzipan

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