mini gingerbread houses

When I arrived in Edmonton I was super keen. I had been scrambling to pack up in Toronto, so I hadn’t had much time to craft or to bake. I already told you about my fun Christmas gift wrap, and all the other crazy things we got up to over the holidays, but I only mentioned the gingerbread in passing. And here is what I did.

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Yes friends, I finally did it. The mini gingerbread houses from Not Martha. I’ve mentioned before that my baking leaves something to be desired, so I have to admit I was a bit nervous in undertaking this project. This isn’t just baking, this is BAKING PLUS ARCHITECTURE.

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I actually baked one batch of houses on one day and then two more batchs the following day. The second day’s gingerbread houses worked a bit better. Not Martha wagers this is because the baking powder has lost some of its mojo, and I tend to agree.

So, I used the Not Martha pattern, the Martha Stewart gingerbread snowflake recipe, and the Martha Stewart royal icing recipe. If you are crazy enough to want to try this next year (or in two years), here are some things I learned in the process:

  1. Roll out your dough onto tinfoil, cut out your houses and remove the excess bits leaving the houses behind. Then put that tinfoil onto a baking pan. Simple!
  2. Make lots and lots of paper patterns. This speeds up the process. A lot.
  3. Use a dollar store pizza cutter to cut.
  4. Line up all your pieces in lines, this speeds up the process. A lot.
  5. Cool your dough. Cool it before you roll it out and cool it before you bake it. This makes your houses not spread when baking and keeps your doors big enough and your pieces fitting together.
  6. Bake all your pieces for each house in one batch.
  7. If you aren’t going to actually perch your houses on mugs, you might not want to go to the trouble of cutting out the little doors. The mug aspect is a bit of a novelty.
  8. The actual constructing of the houses takes patience. Lots and lots of patience.
  9. Seriously. Lots of patience.
  10. You can buy meringue powder in the bulk section of the bulk barn. This can save you big bucks.
  11. Royal icing is like glue. You just need to wait a few minutes.
  12. Get friends to decorate. It’s FUN! I had the hubs, my mom, my dad, my brother and his partner. It was belly bursting!
  13. The gingerbread recipe made enough dough for 30 mini houses (at 1/8″) and two 8″ snowflakes (at 1/4″), sorry no pictures, the snowflake was delicious.
  14. You could probably use about 1/3 of the royal icing recipe and have enough!

In the end, they were super cute. Would I do it again? I don’t know. Ask me when turn into crazy Christmas Al again next year!

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