Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mini Gingerbread Houses

Since young, I always want to make my gingerbread house and I know that it is not an easy thing to do...and it is true!

I was thinking of buying a gingerbread house kit initially but decided to embrace myself to do it from scratch when I saw this recipe from the recent Super Food Idea magazine. The concise recipe seems easy at first but my first attempt of assembling the house was extremely stressful....

"Daddy, I think mummy is crying!"... My son knew that I was stressed building my first house. He was very excited initially giving me lots of his decoration ideas until I got frustrated with him and shoo him away. At that moment, I felt really bad doing that.

I was lucky that my initial failure, persistence and adequate "experience" had made my subsequent attempts so much more easier. My son can see that I was feeling better and I'm glad that we did had lots of fun decorating the houses. We are proud of our houses and were going to share them with my son's friends.

Amongst all the gingerbread that I made, my son loves the gingerbread reindeer the most and ate the most of them...chomp chomp chomp!

Christmas mini miniature gingerbread house

Here's the recipe from Super Food Idea magazine, Dec 2011-Jan 2012 issue
(with my modification in blue)

Makes 10 houses

You need 10-15 cm square cake board (I use 15 cm round cake board)
150g butter, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup treacle (I use golden syrup)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1 /2 tbsp ginger (reduce to 1 tbsp)
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 1/2 plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
pure icing sugar for dusting

Royal icing
(Note: I made half the amount to construct 4 houses and had lots of leftover)
4 egg whites
6 cup icing sugar, sifted
2 tsp lemon juice

1. Place butter, sugar and treacle in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Stir in bicarbonate of soda. Transfer to a bowl. Cool for 20 min.

2.Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Sift ginger, spice, baking powder and flour into a bowl. Add half the flour to butter mixture. Stir well. Add half the flour to butter mixture. Stir well. Add egg, stirring to combine. Stir in remaining flour until a sticky dough forms. Divide dough in half and shape into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hr.

3. Roll 1 portion of dough between 2 sheets of baking paper until 4 mm thick. Cut 20, 7.5cm x 8cm rectangles from dough, re-rolling scraps. Place on prepared trays, 2 cm apart. Bake for 8-10 min or until golden and just firm to touch. Stand on trays for 5 min. Cool on a wire rack.

4. Roll remaining dough between 2 sheets baking paper until 4mm thick. Cut 20, 7 cm (sides) x 8 cm (base) triangles from dough, re-rolling scraps. Place on prepared trays 2 cm apart. Using a 1 cm x 2 cm rectangle-shaped cutter, cut a door from half the triangles. Reserve cut-outs and any dough scraps. Bake triangles for 8-10 min or until golden and just firm to touch. Stand on tray for 5 min. Cool on a wire rack.

5. Place cut-out doors on trays. Roll scraps between 2 sheets of baking paper until 4 mm thick. Using assorted Christmas shape cutters, cut 10 shapes such as trees, wreaths and snowmen. Using 1.5 cm star-shaped cutter, cut 10 stars. Place on tray, 2 cm apart. Bake for 4-5 min or until golden and just firm to touch. Stand on trays for 2 min. Cool on wire rack.

6. Make royal icing Lightly whisk egg white in a bowl. Gradually add icing sugar, whisking until smooth and combined. Stir in lemon juice (cover icing with a damp sheet of paper towel to prevent it from drying out)

7. To assemble: Spread about 2 tbsp royal icing onto 1 cake board. Place triangles (1 with cut-out) on board, about 7 cm apart, pushing into icing to secure. Spoon half the remaining royal icing into a large piping bag fitted with 3mm plain nozzle. Pipe icing onto edges of triangles. Attach rectangle to form a roof, Pipe royal icing along edges of house and across top of roof to resemble icicles and snow. Attach doors of house with icing. Repeat with more icing and house pieces.

Note: Using half amount of the dough, I've cut the dough for 5 sets of gingerbread houses but only constructed 4, the 5th set is my spare and I didn't use it. I used the rest of the dough to make lots of miniature gingerbread man, reindeer and stars. (I lost count of these that I made because my son and I chomped up lots when they were freshly baked and I gave up counting. LOL)

To decorate:

Ingredients to use: 

- Freckles, mini M&Ms, fruit tingles, flake bites, chocolate bullets, white chocolate melts, mushroom lollies and rainbow chocolate chips

- green, yellow, blue and red coloured writing icing tubes (I didn't use this)

- yellow, chocolate and pearlised white and green sprinkles 

Decorate trees and stars with sprinkles. Set for 10 min. Using royal icing to attach the lollies. Attach stars and wreaths to fronts of houses and trees and snowmen to board. Pipe royal icing on doors to resemble snow. Attach flake pieces for chimneys, pressing gently to secure. Decorate tops of houses with white sprinkles, bullets or white chocolate melts. Decorate boards with red and green M&Ms. Dust with icing sugar. Set for 1 hr. Serve.

For my gingerbread houses, I used white chocolate melts for the roof, Cadbury Boost / Time-out as chimneys and logs and decorated the houses lots of sprinkles in different shapes and colours.

For my red-nose reindeer, I piped a tiny amount of royal icing on its nose area and attached a red round sprinkle on the icing.

For my gingerbread men, I piped royal icing on each in the shape of 2 eyes, 1 smile and 3 dots (as button) and placed a star sprinkle on the 1st icing dot.

For my stars, I piped royal icing on each and coated each with the coloured sprinkles.

All my decorated gingerbread were set for 10-15 min before assembly them into the gingerbread houses.

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  1. These mini gingerbread houses look amazing Zoe:)) I would love make one of these beauties::)

  2. These are so cute! I've also found gingerbread houses to be very challenging... scared to attempt them this year!

  3. My gingerbread houses never turn out right but they are always yummier than the kit. Your mini ones are too cute.

  4. Wow, this is amazing and pretty! well done.

  5. oh my! this is really pretty!I can see lot of effort in getting this bake done!

  6. Those gingerbread houses look so cute, Zoe :-) Love the pictures with those little description...

  7. oh gosh this is super duper pretty! and what a fun activity to do with the kids as well! I super like that chain of reindeer in the last picture hehe - reminds me of rudolph!

  8. Wow gingerbread houses looks adorable and absolutely cute.

  9. Great job! (: I'm so glad you persevere! It looks really pretty!! I also want (:

  10. Beautifully done! And I love the reindeer banner at the end! No more tears, those are absolutely well done, Zoe. Should be tears of joy :D

  11. wow!! your gingerbread house is awesome..i cant do be honest with you. It will be very stressful for me to make something like this! Great work, Zoe!

  12. Adorable!! I dont have the patience for something like this ,so I'd much rather admire yours. Love the reindeer!!

  13. it does take a lot of patience to go back and re-try creative things like this and not just give up. Bravo to you for all the effort, it does look like it paid off beautifully. These houses would be hard to eat, I would have to wait and devour after the holidays. Love the picture of the string of reindeer! Great post.

  14. Cutest gingerbread house EVER. Those reindeer are beyond cute too!

  15. I love those reindeers too! The min gingerbread houses look fantastic!

  16. Those reindeer are super adorable.

  17. You area an artist; what a fantastic post to get us in the festive mood.

  18. I've never worked up the courage to attempt a gingerbread house. Maybe some day. Yours look great! I love the reindeer too.

  19. These are so super cute!! I dont think the ninja's would fit in here, you'll have to make them a ninjahouse ;p

  20. Super job done, Zoe! I read super food magazines, too. Hope I can still find that issue from the newsagent as I want to make one, too!

  21. Ha! That's exactly why I'm not so sure I want to make a gingerbread house. Instead, I will just sing about it. (I'm performing in Hansel & Gretel this month.) :)

  22. Zoe, I'm glad you hung in there! They ended up so cute!

  23. Hi.. did I ever mention how awesome I think you are?! :) I love your recipes and the pictures!

    If its not too much to ask, can you please go through the rules of my event > Jingle All The Way and link your post there? Would love to have your post on my space. Thanks!

    Kavi | Edible Entertainment
    Ongoing events:
    Jingle All The Way &
    Microwave Easy Cooking

  24. Your gingerbread house is beautiful. Looks too beautiful to be eaten..seems like a pro to me rather than an amateur..kudos!

  25. Well, these are just adorable! I really love the idea of making little houses instead of one big one, which can be disasterous. Great idea!

  26. They are very sweet honey home, Merry Christmas my dear :)))