Gingerbread houses are lots of fun to make and not as difficult as you might think. I’ve often made basic houses for neighbours and one of our girl’s made a request for one as a birthday cake one year too.
I loved the vegetable garden version that River Cottage posted on their site (which prompted me to write this) but the book ‘Gingerbread Things to Make and Bake’ by Teresa Layman and Barbara Morgenroth is truly inspiring if you like the idea of making different styles of houses.
From churches to cabins, barns to farmhouses the book has them all and if you ‘collect’ recipe books, I think you’d love to have this one on the bookshelf.
You’ll find various gingerbread recipes once you start looking but the one below is my tried and tested favourite, found in an old Good Food Magazine (you can find a link to the house template here ).
I also use this recipe for gingerbread people and Christmas shapes as it’s easy to work with and tastes delicious.
Ingredients (enough to make the house in the sweet shop above)
650g self raising flour
3 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp ground cinnamon
225g dark brown sugar
175g black treacle
2 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 180ºC
1. Place the flour, ginger, cinnamon and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (in two batches if the bowl is small).
2. Combine the sugar, treacle and egg in a large mixing bowl. Tip in the flour mix and stir, then bring the dough together with your hands.
3. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
4. Cover and chill for at least one hour before rolling and cutting into shapes (approx 2 euro coins in thickness.
5. Place the shapes onto baking parchment and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
If you’re making biscuits rather than the house, this is how many (roughly) the quantity of ingredients listed above makes…. lots of presents (or munchies for you)!! If you’ve children in the house, decorating them will keep them happy for hours.