Gingerbread Magic!

Gingerbread House 2013

Gingerbread House 2013

Making gingerbread houses has been a tradition in my family dating back to my great grandmother whose creations covered the piano top and even made the local newspaper! We’ve made everything from Pluto’s doghouse to the Hogwarts Express.

This year, I was determined to modify our family recipe to make my own gluten and allergy free gingerbread house. The dough is still delicious to eat, but sturdy enough once its cooked to hold a house.

Also, read my other blog post (Gingerbread Decorating Party!) for advice on how to have a gingerbread house making party!

How to Make Sturdy Gluten Free Gingerbread House

Make your own all purpose flour by mixing together with a whisk and set aside (you will have leftover):

  •  4 cups Rice Flour
  • 2 cups Arrowroot Flout
  • 3  cups Sorghum Flour
  • 8  tsp. Xanthan Gum

Dough:

  • About 7 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • One  12-ounce bottle molasses (mild flavor)
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½  cup water
  • ⅓ cup shortening
  • 2¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 2  tsp. ground allspice (optional – add more cloves and ginger)
  • 1¼  tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional – add more cloves and ginger)

1.  PREPARE DOUGH:  Into large bowl, measure 4 cups gluten free flour mix, one 12-ounce bottle molasses, 1 cup brown sugar, ½ cup water, ⅓ cup shortening, 2¼ tsp baking soda, 2 tsp allspice,

1¼ tsp ginger, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp cloves, and 1 tsp cinnamon.  With mixer at low speed, beat ingredients until just mixed.  Increase speed to medium; beat 3 minutes.  With spoon (and hands if necessary), stir in 3 cups flour until dough is kneading consistency.  Wrap dough with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm and easy to handle, about 3 hours.

2.  Prepare a second batch of dough, if desired.

3.  Select a gingerbread pattern.  I find it easiest if the pattern is copied on to and cut out of poster board.

4.  Grease and flour a baking sheet.  Roll the dough out directly on the baking sheet.  Cut out the pattern.

Remove any excess dough.  Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.

The dough should be cooked beyond the perfect eating point, but before it is burned.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

5.  Test your gingerbread pieces to make sure that the cooked pieces actually fit together properly.  Use a knife to gently trim any uneven areas.

6.  PUT THE GINGERBREAD HOUSE TOGETHER:

Place approximately 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar in an  old small saucepan.  Heat on the stove over low heat until it is hot and bubbly.  Use the mixture as you would any glue to put the house together.  (You may want to have a bowl of cold water handy as you are using the hot sugar.  It is very easy to burn yourself.)  The sugar may be reheated if it begins to cool beyond a working consistency.  You may add additional granulated sugar to your previous batch, if necessary.

The Frosting

Royal frosting typically contains egg or meringue powder.  I wanted to be able to eat EVERY aspect of my gingerbread house, so I used a combination of confectioner’s sugar, water, and pectin to make my frosting.  While the frosting worked (the house has been up for over a month), I don’t have the right proportions yet.  Look out for an updated frosting post next year!

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