Saturday, December 13, 2014

Gingerbread houses

Decorating gingerbread houses has become somewhat of a yearly tradition between a few of my friends.

That's all fine and dandy, until you realize that they do not make gluten free gingerbread house kits. (To my knowledge...). Which means the options include not participating, sucking it up and building a gluteny house, getting creative with rice krispie treats, or making your own from scratch.

Guess which one I did this year? You betcha. From scratch. I've done it before and it's not hard, it just takes a bit extra time.

Here is the template I came up with:

[To print, Right-click and Save the image. It should print in normal dimensions once you open it up]

Here is the recipe I used. It's really good because the cookies don't puff up or spread, plus they still taste good.

Gingerbread Cookie House
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. lightly packed brown sugar
3 T. molasses (that's all that was left in the jar!)
1 egg
2 1/4 cups GF Flour Blend
1/2 T. ginger and cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. nutmeg and cloves

Preheat the oven to 350.
Beat the butter & sugar until it looks incorporated. Beat in the egg and molasses.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix in slowly. Once it's all mixed up, get in there with your hands and form it into a ball. Place the bowl in the freezer while you clean up and prepare the space for rolling out the dough.

I prefer to tape waxed paper to the countertop, and dust with flour. A flour sifter provides a perfect thin distribution of flour for rolling stuff out.

Roll the dough out to desired thickness. Place the template on the dough and cut out 2 of each shape. If desired, cut a door and windows.

Place on a greased (taking no chances here) cookie sheet and bake until they are sturdy. This depends on thickness, but they will be browned on the edges. You don't want a soft cookie, but check them to make sure they don't burn! (That can happen when you're singing along to Anne Murray's Christmas album and not paying attention) Carefully remove them from the sheet to a cooling rack.

This recipe makes enough for 2 smallish houses.

Assemble with royal icing (I like Alton Brown's. Instead of 3oz I use 3 egg whites)
Decorate to your heart's content with GF candies:

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