I am having a hard time getting used to this blog business... I feel like I am writing a boring letter to no one (Obviously Elo will read it out of pity)... . .Well anyways,
Every year I make a gingerbread house. I look forward to it all year and every year once I get going on it I cant remember why the heck I seem to always think I enjoyed doing this. It costs a lot of money, it makes a huge mess and the process is only sort of enjoyable. (Yes I made one this year too). Because I have been tortuoring myself for years I have become some what (not really) skilled at the art. Here are my tips for making a semi-sucessful gingerbread house.
Tip 1. (pattern) The most important part of your house is the design. Yes this part is boring and you will realize how uncreative you are when you spend 3 hours and all you have to show for it is a square box made of duct taped together cardboard. You will also then realize the cardboard was originally in box form and you suck. Uh.. so tip #1... make a card board cut out.
Tip 2. (baking) Roll out your dough on parchment paper, cut the walls, roof etc, then transfer to a baking sheet . Make sure you cut out the windows first. Then either mid baking or at the end I like to put the pattern back onto the dough and cut them again (the dough expands).
Tip 3. (smooth-ing?) Let the pieces dry overnight. No one actually eats this stuff, so get it as stale as possible. Then take sand paper and sand off the rough edges.
Tip 4 (windows). put some suckers or jolly ranchers in a zip lock bag, then crush them with a meat hammer... or whatever you have laying around. I like to melt the candies in a small pot and then pour them directly into the spaces left for the windows. Make sure the gingerbread is on parchment paper and that the side you want on the outside of your house is facing up. If your candy starts to cool while you are pouring and it looks crappy, just pop the pieses into the oven under the broiler set to high for a few min (5min or so) and it will fix itself.
Tip 6. I think I am all out. Put the house together, I do base (hold it with soup cans) then the roof once the base is dry. and decorate away.
My decorations are always sub par. Here are some idea.
- trees: up-side down ice cream cones covered in icing (use a star tip)
- fondant makes everything look good.(siding, shinels, window details)
- flat pieces of chocolate for bricks (or use fondant)
- melt blue candy for a pond
- mini m&ms and black liqorish for lights.
- windows: use suckers or jolly ranchers.. I used some caramel stuff for this house and I didnt like it!
I will post pictures of the house I did this year soon. It got 2nd place at the local Gingerbread Contest.