Amsterdam Gingerbread House!
Merry Christmas everyone! Festive season is well and truly here – and I’m loving every minute of it. I’m a Christmas freak if you haven’t figured that out already! I’ve even discovered a radio station on our digital radio called ELF radio, playing Christmas carols 24/7. Amazing!
This weekend we went to a big Christmas BBQ, which was a great excuse to catch up with friends. I’ve been so busy lately, I feel like I’ve hardly seen anyone. Anyway, the lead up to Christmas is a great excuse to get everyone together before we all disperse off to our little pockets of the globe.
In the spirit of Christmas, I thought I’d make a gingerbread house to take to the BBQ. Now this take a little planning and foresight, as I don’t have much time of an evening. You really have to make it over a few nights – it took me three! The first night I made the cookie dough. The following night I cut out and baked the walls and roof, and the final night was spent doing the fun bit, decorating. Let me tell you, it’s not for the feint hearted; my right hand had cramped from icing for a few straight hours. BUT all in all it was TOTALLY worth it. It was a hit at the party, in all it’s two-story-Amsterdam-style glory! Damn it was cute!
I made my first gingerbread house two years ago – which you can see over here. I also recently shared it on instagram. It was then that somebody told me that it’s tradition to smash it with a rolling pin? Not sure how much fact there is in that, do you know? Anyway, as I made the damn thing, I get to SMASH it! Let me tell you, it takes quite a few whacks to demolish it – quite the sturdy feat of architecture. You can see the image below at the point of impact! Well, I guess you’ll have to wait another two years to see my next one (every year is a bit too much me thinks!).
Are you going to try your hand at making one this year? Let me know if you do! I want to see photos!
ps. I’ve also included some photos of us from a couple of weeks ago in Tassie finding the perfect Christmas tree!
3 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup plain flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
185g butter, chopped
1/2 cup golden syrup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 egg whites
3 cups icing sugar
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Combine flours, ginger, cinnamon, sugar and butter. Mix until it resembles breadcrumbs. Whisk golden syrup and eggs together in a jug and add to the dough mixture until it just comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until well chilled.
2. Roll dough, 1 portion at a time, between 2 sheets baking paper until 5mm thick. Remove top layer baking paper. Using cardboard cut-outs as a guide, cut shapes from dough.
3. Line 4 baking trays with baking paper. Place gingerbread on trays. Bake, 2 trays at a time, for 15 minutes or until firm. Cool on trays.
3. Make royal icing: Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add icing sugar, beating constantly until thick.
4. Once gingerbread has cooled pipe and decorate the walls and roof. Once decorated, use icing to join the walls to the plate & the walls together (you may need an extra hand or cans of food to hold until icing dries). Use icing to attach roof to walls, using cans to support roof (to prevent it from slipping off walls) until icing dries completely. Use any sweets to finish decorating! Have fun!