I have fond memories of making gingerbread houses as a kid. My brother and I used to make gingerbread houses each and every year with my aunt. It was tradition… and I like to carry on tradition.
We used to make the gingerbread with graham crackers and icing and use all the different kinds of candy we could possibly get our hands on. We used to make up crazy stories about the people that lived in our gingerbread houses that varied from year to year. Sometimes I wish I could get back to that no-holds-bar imagination that we had when we were kids.
Even though I’m using a traditional German gingerbread (did you know gingerbread is from Germany!), and going for a sleek, all-white design (as opposed to hectically glueing peppermint candies to every inch of my house) this tradition still brings me back to those days…
For the house, I have provided a nice template for you to print and cut out. Check it out here: mini gingerbread house template. I’m a big fan of the “German-style” gingerbread houses, with the steep, slanted roof. I think it adds just a little extra cuteness to the overall house. Plus, homes really do have roofs that look like this in Germany!
Making gingerbread can be a bit of a project… But, I’ve created a picture tutorial on how to roll out the dough, cut the dough, and even how to create a mini piping bag to decorate your gingerbread house!
In order to create the tiny detail on the front, sides, and roof of the house, it is necessary to make a piping bag out of parchment paper. This mini piping bag is perfect in piping not only on gingerbread houses, but also decorating cookies, cakes, and petit fours! This is one of the first things I learned how to do in my apprenticeship as a pastry chef, and I find it the most useful!
It might take a few tries and a little practice, but once you have it down you can make a mini piping bag in a matter of seconds!
Start by cutting a small triangle off the corner of parchment paper and then… follow along…!
- For the gingerbread:
- 65 g butter
- 185 g honey
- 85 g sugar
- pinch of gingerbread spice
- 10 g cocoa powder
- 400 g flour
- pinch of baking powder
- 1 egg
- For the icing or "glue:"
- ½ and egg white
- powdered sugar
- Measure out the butter, honey, sugar, gingerbread spice, and cocoa powder in a pot.
- Over low heat on the stove, melt together the ingredients just until the butter melts and you have a dark, smooth syrup.
- Measure out the flour and baking powder into your mixing bowl. Attach the bowl to the mixing machine with the dough hook.
- Once the dark syrup has cooled off, but is still liquid, turn the mixing machine on low and begin to add the syrup to the flour.
- Once the mixture had begun to come together, add the egg.
- Increase the speed of the mixer to medium and let the dough come togeher.
- Once the dough if fulling mixed and smooth, remove from the bowl and kneed togeher with your hands to form a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap.
- Place in the fridge for about 24 hours. Technically, this step makes for a better overall dough... however, I have immediatly rolled out the dough after making it, and it was still ok.
- Roll out the dough to the desired thickness, and using a pizza cutter, cut out the desired form.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 180 Cesius or 350 Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes. If making a gingerbread house, bake the dough a little longer to ensure that it is dry and therefor, stable.
- Let the baked gingerbread dry out at room temperature overnight. This step is a bit necessary to have a long lasting gingerbread house.
- To make the icing or "glue," continually add the powdered sugar to the egg white while mixing until you have reached the desired consistency.
- You'll want a pretty stiff icing, meaning it stays in it's place and doesn't spread out.
- Before building the house, decorate the roof, sides, and front of the house. It is a lot easier piping designs on a flat surface, rather than one that's standing up.
- Let dry for at least a few hours. While the piping is drying, cover the icing with a damp towl. This will make sure it doesn't dry out!
- Finally build the house and add final decorations!