Welcoming December by blasting Christmas music and decorating a neighborhood of mini cookie houses. # 279: Mini Gingerbread Houses
The coziest cookie on the block!
Every few years I have a craving to make gingerbread houses. Which is honestly surprising, considering that I don’t love crunchy cookies and gingerbread doesn’t inherently involve chocolate. I’m a monster for that criteria, I know.
But nostalgia and Christmas music are a strong combo so here I am spending an entire afternoon caulking with royal icing and getting sprinkles absolutely everywhere. With my cup of tea, it’s the perfect grey day activity!
Look at the cutie glowing windows! They were too small to get a stained glass effect from the hard candy, but the fact that I know there are lil panes of glass makes my day.
It feels like recipes for gingerbread have been around since what feels like the dawn of time. (I found a fun PBS article that mentions evidence of gingerbread recipes in Greece from 2400 BC!) Using the spiced crisp cookies to build iced houses seems to have began in Germany in the 16th century and became even more popular after the Brothers Grimm published Hansel and Gretel.
The best are those giant gingerbread scenes they set up in the fancy hotels in SF at Christmas. My gingerbread architectural aspirations end with making a to-scale model of my parents house. It’ll have to be big enough to be able to pipe the details (which funnily enough I believe is called gingerbread on houses) so it’s an all-day kind of project. Someday!
There was a surprising amount of variation in the recipes I combed through, but I landed on one that only had ingredients I already had on hand. An overnight fridge nap was suggested, so bear with me and my 10pm prep photos.
Mix mix mix.
Sweet gingery dreams, lil dough.
Oh look, it’s the next morning! True Christmas magic.
Had to break out the ruler for this one.
Cookie scraps = neighborhood trees!
I sadly didn’t have enough hard candy for all of the windows, but at least one house was fully decked out.
Good news: you can make royal icing without meringue powder! Corn syrup helps give it a smooth finish once set.
Almond-scented house glue.
It took several pep talks (to the cookies and to myself) to get these standing on their own.
I’m still not over the tiny window!
The roofs became blank canvases for icing snow and sprinkle lights.
Let’s just pretend people have brick roofs – it was too cute to not.
Cookie recipe from: https://indecisionandcake.com/2019/12/mini-gingerbread-houses/
Icing recipe from: https://freshaprilflours.com/easy-royal-icing/#recipe
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