Sunday, December 10, 2006

Mommy's Cookie House

I've never made a gingerbread house before. I looked on the internet for ideas. I checked my various baking books. I looked in catalogues for decorating ideas. Here's what I found out. Most people buy a kit, or a ready-made gingerbread house. Most people like to decorate their house with lots of candy. Many gingerbread houses are ugly. Gingerbread houses are expensive. Royal icing is the glue that keeps a gingerbread house together- use lots of it. Many people make their own design for gingerbread houses.

So- I got out my gingerbread recipe. I figured out that what makes a good gingerbread cookie, doesn't neceassarily work for a gingerbread house. A cookie should be moist and lovely. A house needs to be cardboard-like. I decided I would bake my pieces longer, so they would dry out. I had a recipe for royal icing, that would keep a real house together. I really didn't like the candy houses, though. I wanted my house to be more organic, and earthy. Forgive me for sounding like a hippy. I wanted it to smell delicious, and it does. I got to work. It took me about an hour to come up with the design, and make a cardboard cut out. I made and baked the gingerbread parts to the house. They expanded. And the dimensions changed. Hmmmm. How do people deal with that? Royal Icing! I used lots of it. And I added some well hidden cinnamon sticks to fill the very large gaps. I used star anise, cloves, pink peppercorns, rosemary, and allspice for the decorations. The roof is lined with pecan shingles. I think it's cute. Abbie calls it Mommy's Cookie House- no touch. Although she has nibbled the threshold, and ate the doormat completely before I could glue it to the house. But I have one more question. Now what do I do with it?

I had a bit of a problem with the longevity of Mommy's Cookie house. It colapsed shortly after I made it-3-4 days. We had a lot of rain, and my gingerbread was too moist. I was told at my favorite cake supply store to not use butter-but replace it with shortening, and also decrease the baking temperature but bake it longer. Hmmm. Next year.


Aundra said...

The coolest, most awsome ginger bread house EVER!

rv said...

so sweet of you to bake this gingerbread house:) abbie must have loved it a lot:)