The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.
The dough was not easy to manage. Kneading that huge amount of dough by hand took me forever and left me gasping for breath. In hindsight, I should have halved the portions as I still have some leftover in the fridge. That is also because I dreamt of making this huge castle, turret towers and the works. Thereafter, began looking at designs and dimensions, panicked big time, and downsized my dreams. Fell back to reality with a mighty thud and ended up with a rustic little cottage.
I scaled down a template I found online, and roughly drew sketches on a scrap of paper. Very abstract (cause of my panic), and in the end, very lucky. Had an impressed DH in the end who said I did a good job with the measurements.
I piped on royal icing in abstract patterns before finally gluing the house together. We don’t have beautiful Christmas candy, peppermint sticks etc available here like the West does, so I stuck to basics that I could do on my own. Made cookie dough snowflakes from a set on snowflake plunger cutters that Nic @ Cherrapeno got for me when I met her in London for the Food Blogger Connect a couple of weeks ago. They are lovely! Thanks a ton Nicole!
Putting the house together wasn’t a one man job for me. I engaged the services of the engineer on hand, and DH and me built together our sweet little house, patiently and with much fun. It’s a great family project and was a first ‘building a baked home’ for me. We were slightly under confident of the sugar glue, but woot, never seen firmer and more effective quick edible superglue than this!
In the end we were pretty pleased with our Gingerbread home. I wish I had put it on a better base but it was too late to change that. Once done the hub decided that it was definitely missing a chimney, so I set to make one sawing off extra bits of biscuit I had baked, and voila, there it was! The cookie dough was quite delicious too.