Anyone Interested In Doing A Gingerbread House Thread

Decorating By thefrostedcakencookie Updated 19 Nov 2014 , 9:27am by MBalaska

poohthebear Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 12:38am
post #301 of 492

Okay I know this is probably a dumb question but what do some of you use say if you want your house to be yellow or blue? Fondant? Thinned royal?

Win Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 12:55am
post #302 of 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by poohthebear

Okay I know this is probably a dumb question but what do some of you use say if you want your house to be yellow or blue? Fondant? Thinned royal?




Yellow is easier, so I will start there. Instead of molasses in your recipe, you use corn syrup which makes a much lighter dough. I color the dough there using gel food color. After the gingerbread is baked, cooled and hardened, I use petal dust to go back over the piece and color it deeper.

Blue is not as easy to achieve, but again use the lighter dough and a much darker blue than you would think you need. (It becomes paler as it bakes.) It will still be a blue that has green hues. After it has baked, cooled and hardened, petal dust it in blue.

You can also use, as you suggested, royal icing to pipe what looks like slats on a house in any color. Fondant on gingerbread is fine, but I recommend mixing it with gumpaste at about 50/50 so that it dries hard. Anything that adds to moisture in your gingerbread compromises how hard it will stay. HTH!

Rylan Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 1:07am
post #303 of 492

Does using cornsyrup give a nice strong structure? I've always used molasses on mines and I wanted to cut the cost buy buying a huge bottle of cornsyrup instead of the small bottles of molasses. I couldn't find any big bottles of molasses in my area so if any of you know any place to get them, let me know.

juliebold Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 1:17am
post #304 of 492

I love to do gingerbread houses. I have been doing them for years with my kids. We do about 30 every year and have a big party to decorate them. I make the houses and put them together and everyone brings candy and we spend a day decorating. I make them for gifts for my husbands office. When I make them I leave the back roof off and once the house is decorated and dry I fill the houses with homemade cookies, cover them in cello wrap. Everyone loves them.

Rylan I always use merguine (sp) instead of egg whites. Just add the water a little at a time watching the how stiff it is.

poohthebear Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 2:43am
post #305 of 492

Thanks Win! Those are really great tips. I didn't realize you could use corn syrup either. Alot of kids don't like the taste of gingerbread because of the taste of molasses. So do you think a good sugar cookie recipe would work for building houses?

Rylan Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 5:51am
post #306 of 492

Thanks Julie, that's what I will use.

7yyrt Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 6:56am
post #307 of 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by poohthebear

So do you think a good sugar cookie recipe would work for building houses?



If you take the spices out and don't use the molasses, I should think any gingerbread would be a very light dough.
I know for small houses sugar cookie dough works.

majka_ze Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 8:55am
post #308 of 492

Gingerbread dough as I know it is totally different from sugar cookie dough. I think for large houses it doesn't have enough strength.

And here it doesn't have molasses in it - it has honey, again getting lighter color. It can be colored with "burnt sugar" - sorry, I don't know how it is called in English. You simply caramelize sugar to very dark color and thin this with boiling water so it doesn't set hard. And then use it as liquid coloring.

I wouldn't use melted chocolate - for the reasons Rylan mentioned. The chocolate gets soft in warm temperature, RI will hold the same unless you have extremely damp air.

verono Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 1:55pm
post #309 of 492

I did once a cookie house covered in fondant with sugar cookie dough.. but it was a small one.
LL

juliebold Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 5:15pm
post #310 of 492

I use a gingerbread receip I got from family circle mag. Everyone loves it, even kids. I don't think any of my homes have not been eaten. If you want to decorate the walls a color what I do it is lay them flat and use royal icing. Make sure it is not to thin or the moisture from the icing with soften the gingerbread. Let the sides dry totally and then put it togeter. That way you can make it any color you want. When I bake all my gingerbread I keep it on a huge table covered with wax paper. If it gets soft before I decorate it I just pop it in the oven for a few minutes to dry it out. I can't wait to get started. I usually start right after Thanksgiving.

Win Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 5:40pm
post #311 of 492

Rylan, corn syrup instead of molasses is just as durable. My Spring cottage uses both. I like the contrast. There is a difference between homes built for consumption and homes built to last for a good bit. I use what is called a "durable" gingerbread recipe for homes that I build for display and an entirely different recipe for my gift homes that I know might be nibbled. The durable has less leavening and will not puff up so it dries quicker and harder --the edible is a puffier, more cookie-like dough.

http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1328174

I have used melted chocolate (the Wilton wafers are fine to use) with success but I would say that if you live in a humid area, it would not perform as well. I don't know how Los Vegas gets in the winter months. However, your estimate of cost is correct and would run a lot more than mixing up batches of RI for the type of project you want to take on. I don't know if you have an ALDI in your neck of the woods, but they start bringing in their holiday baking food items about now. They always have incredible prices on molasses as well as corn syrup. I buy mine from there.

pouchet82 Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 6:20pm
post #312 of 492

I am so glad I just stumbled on this thread. A co-worker of mine just emailed me to ask if I wanted to have a cookie party with the other girls here, and she asked if I would be interested in making a GB house. I have never done one, but I think with all this info I might manage!

Win Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 6:24pm
post #313 of 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by pouchet82

I am so glad I just stumbled on this thread. A co-worker of mine just emailed me to ask if I wanted to have a cookie party with the other girls here, and she asked if I would be interested in making a GB house. I have never done one, but I think with all this info I might manage!




There are great pattern links a couple of pages back... very user friendly if you have not done structures before. Happy baking (and decorating!)

Rylan Posted 6 Nov 2009 , 7:03pm
post #314 of 492

Majka_ze, thanks for the info, I appreciate it.

Verono, what a cute house!

Win, thanks for the info as well. I love love love that gingerbread house you made, it's something like I've never seen before. I totally didn't know that there are two kinds of gingerbread. I only use mines for display, so I guess it would be best for me to use the "durable" recipe. Would you be able to help me with the recipe? I've been making gingerbread houses for years and my gingerbread seems to puff up many times. I sometimes get bubbles as well.

We do not have ALDI over here. The cheapest molasses I can get is about $5 a bottle. I usually use 5 of those. This year I'm planning to make a bigger gingerbread house so I would have to use more. I'm sure I will use cornsyrup now since it's more affordable.

sunshine4U Posted 11 Nov 2009 , 11:02pm
post #315 of 492

I am so glad I found this board! It is Remembrance Day here in Canada and I have just made all the pieces for all 4 of my kids' gingerbread houses for this year. Making gingerbread houses has become a tradition and even my 12-yo son still loves making them! I have yet to make/bake my house for this year but my oldest DD (14) and I will work on it together and we are going to try make a mini-doll house style since she wants to make the insides and I will do the outside. Should be fun!

Win Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 4:35pm
post #316 of 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshine4U

I am so glad I found this board! It is Remembrance Day here in Canada and I have just made all the pieces for all 4 of my kids' gingerbread houses for this year. Making gingerbread houses has become a tradition and even my 12-yo son still loves making them! I have yet to make/bake my house for this year but my oldest DD (14) and I will work on it together and we are going to try make a mini-doll house style since she wants to make the insides and I will do the outside. Should be fun!




This makes me cry. icon_cry.gif It is traditions like this that instill in our children a desire to keep our world on an even keel. The heritage of "tradition" is still alive and strong! God Bless You and your sweet family.

7yyrt Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 5:20pm
post #317 of 492

Welcome to the site, sunshine4U ! We hope you'll be happy here.
Image

sunshine4U Posted 12 Nov 2009 , 11:50pm
post #318 of 492

Now your making me cry Win and 7yyrt! LOL Thanks for the great welcome! icon_smile.gif I sure love this site and have recommended it to several friends who want to start this tradition with their kids as well icon_smile.gif

cinderspritzer Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 7:06pm
post #319 of 492

I sent in my registration form for the competition on the 27th. Husband is currently working on the design of the the house and the angles and all that. We're building the base tonight and will probably start making and chilling dough tomorrow. I have one very important question before I start.


How thick does my dough need to be to bake completely, but maintain enough strength that it will last for 5 weeks? Any input would be greatly appreciated. TIA icon_smile.gif

Win Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:44pm
post #320 of 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinderspritzer

I sent in my registration form for the competition on the 27th. Husband is currently working on the design of the the house and the angles and all that. We're building the base tonight and will probably start making and chilling dough tomorrow. I have one very important question before I start.


How thick does my dough need to be to bake completely, but maintain enough strength that it will last for 5 weeks? Any input would be greatly appreciated. TIA icon_smile.gif




1/4" should be fine... mine lasts for months and months. Do you need a good strong recipe? I ccan link you to the one I posted for Mike...


http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-659153.html

have FUN!!!

cinderspritzer Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 12:55am
post #321 of 492

Thanks a bunch, Win. icon_smile.gif

PenGwenny Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 6:32pm
post #322 of 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by Win

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinderspritzer

I sent in my registration form for the competition on the 27th. Husband is currently working on the design of the the house and the angles and all that. We're building the base tonight and will probably start making and chilling dough tomorrow. I have one very important question before I start.


How thick does my dough need to be to bake completely, but maintain enough strength that it will last for 5 weeks? Any input would be greatly appreciated. TIA icon_smile.gif



1/4" should be fine... mine lasts for months and months. Do you need a good strong recipe? I ccan link you to the one I posted for Mike...


http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-659153.html

have FUN!!!




Win, I saw a note from you in an earlier post that said you used 2 recipes...one for show and one for gift giving (assumption that it will be eaten). Would you be willing to share your recipe for the edible version of your gbread dough too?

I've seen some comments here as well about dying dough. I'm trying to go for an ice castle look, but trying to determine the best way to get a lighter colored dough. What have you all done? and what would you recommend based on your past experiences...think North Pole-like castle.

My last couple of questions are specific to decorating my ice castle. Even with a ligher colored dough I've thought about thinning out some royal icing, tinting it with the slightest light blue (for an authentic "ice" look), and to paint all outside walls. Probably need a good recipe for having the painted walls look as smooth as possible and any techniques for application. I've done smaller pieces but not big walls.

After I've painted a wall but while the RI is still wet, I thought that I might also try to dust it with some blue and white sugar crystals (figuring that the semi-wet RI will help the sugar crystals set in). Another thought I had was to use luster or pearl dust after it's dry to give it a glittery effect.

What do you all think? Additionally, need some advice on whether or not I should paint the walls before I construct or should I do that afterwards?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice.

BTW, love, Love, LOVE this forum and this thread!!!!!

Win Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 6:52pm
post #323 of 492
Quote:
Quote:

Win, I saw a note from you in an earlier post that said you used 2 recipes...one for show and one for gift giving (assumption that it will be eaten). Would you be willing to share your recipe for the edible version of your gbread dough too?

I've seen some comments here as well about dying dough. I'm trying to go for an ice castle look, but trying to determine the best way to get a lighter colored dough. What have you all done? and what would you recommend based on your past experiences...think North Pole-like castle.

My last couple of questions are specific to decorating my ice castle. Even with a ligher colored dough I've thought about thinning out some royal icing, tinting it with the slightest light blue (for an authentic "ice" look), and to paint all outside walls. Probably need a good recipe for having the painted walls look as smooth as possible and any techniques for application. I've done smaller pieces but not big walls.

After I've painted a wall but while the RI is still wet, I thought that I might also try to dust it with some blue and white sugar crystals (figuring that the semi-wet RI will help the sugar crystals set in). Another thought I had was to use luster or pearl dust after it's dry to give it a glittery effect.

What do you all think? Additionally, need some advice on whether or not I should paint the walls before I construct or should I do that afterwards?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice.

BTW, love, Love, LOVE this forum and this thread!!!!!




PenGwenny, below is the recipe for the GB I build when I know it will be nibbled. I have, in the past, subbed out the molasses for light corn syrup to make it lighter. However, the spices still cast a golden glow to it. It is still a very strong gingerbread and great for building. I do think, however, it succumbs to humidity a little quicker than the other so make sure to let it dry well.

5 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp EACH cloves & nutmeg
2 tsp EACH cinnamon and ginger
1 Cup Shortening
1 Cup Sugar - regular, not brown
1 1/4 Cup Molasses
2 Eggs, Beaten
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend the dry ingredients together. In a large saucepan, melt the shortening. Cool slightly. Add sugar, molasses and eggs. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Bake 10-15 minutes. Edges should be light brown.

Note that my other recipe does not contain eggs, and this one does. I think this just lends toward a little more rise in the dough when baking. I still roll it to about 1/4" thick.

I think it's fine to paint your walls with RI. I would, personally, do it before assembly simply because it is a pain to try to get the crystals on when the house is upright. I have a cabin in my pics for which I made hundreds of fondant river stones and applied them all with RI. One might argue that there is not a lot of gingerbread showing (and in competition you lose points for losing gingerbread) but I liked the effect for this purpose and this was my personal house and not for competition.

Link: http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1168419


Also, on my potting shed, I used petal dust to get the mossy effect of aged walls. For that house, I waited until it was already assembled so I could see the whole thing as it came together and knew where I wanted to add more dust. So, you see, it just depends on what you want to achieve in terms of the final picture.

HTH!


icon_biggrin.gif

MBoyd Posted 18 Nov 2009 , 7:14pm
post #324 of 492

For a lighter colored dough I know that you can sub out corn syrup for the molasses....

I agree, I'd paint the walls in royal icing before assembly - when the pieces are flat you can use a run sugar technique for getting smooth walls. Then go ahead and paint it out in luster, or paint a thin layer of piping gel to adhere sugar crystals.

HTH!

PenGwenny Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 3:15am
post #325 of 492
Quote:
Quote:


PenGwenny, below is the recipe for the GB I build when I know it will be nibbled. I have, in the past, subbed out the molasses for light corn syrup to make it lighter. However, the spices still cast a golden glow to it. It is still a very strong gingerbread and great for building. I do think, however, it succumbs to humidity a little quicker than the other so make sure to let it dry well.

5 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp EACH cloves & nutmeg
2 tsp EACH cinnamon and ginger
1 Cup Shortening
1 Cup Sugar - regular, not brown
1 1/4 Cup Molasses
2 Eggs, Beaten
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend the dry ingredients together. In a large saucepan, melt the shortening. Cool slightly. Add sugar, molasses and eggs. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Bake 10-15 minutes. Edges should be light brown.

Note that my other recipe does not contain eggs, and this one does. I think this just lends toward a little more rise in the dough when baking. I still roll it to about 1/4" thick.

I think it's fine to paint your walls with RI. I would, personally, do it before assembly simply because it is a pain to try to get the crystals on when the house is upright. I have a cabin in my pics for which I made hundreds of fondant river stones and applied them all with RI. One might argue that there is not a lot of gingerbread showing (and in competition you lose points for losing gingerbread) but I liked the effect for this purpose and this was my personal house and not for competition.

Link: http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1168419


Also, on my potting shed, I used petal dust to get the mossy effect of aged walls. For that house, I waited until it was already assembled so I could see the whole thing as it came together and knew where I wanted to add more dust. So, you see, it just depends on what you want to achieve in terms of the final picture.

HTH!


icon_biggrin.gif




Yes, this does help...thanks so very much!

PenGwenny Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 3:16am
post #326 of 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBoyd

For a lighter colored dough I know that you can sub out corn syrup for the molasses....

I agree, I'd paint the walls in royal icing before assembly - when the pieces are flat you can use a run sugar technique for getting smooth walls. Then go ahead and paint it out in luster, or paint a thin layer of piping gel to adhere sugar crystals.

HTH!




MBoyd, thanks for your tips as well...what is a run sugar technique?

PenGwenny Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 5:14pm
post #327 of 492

Ahhhh, did a little research and found out what the run sugar technique is...didn't realize it had a special name, but something that my Mom taught me long ago to decorate Christmas cookies.

I found the following recipe but would appreciate whatever versions you all may have for run sugar for wall decorating:
8 cups powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons meringue powder
1 Tablespoon gum arabic
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
2/3 cup water
Additional water or powdered sugar as needed for correct consistency
Food Color

PenGwenny Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 9:04pm
post #328 of 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinderspritzer

Thanks a bunch, Win. icon_smile.gif




Win,

Tried the construction recipe for the support part of my castle and it's awesome. Haven't assembled anything yet, but the dough mixes up great, rolls out so easily (best I've ever tried), and bakes great.

I may switch to the egg recipe for some of the upper parts...in case anyone decides they want to nibble on some.

Thx icon_biggrin.gif

Win Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 9:14pm
post #329 of 492
Quote:
Originally Posted by PenGwenny

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinderspritzer

Thanks a bunch, Win. icon_smile.gif



Win,

Tried the construction recipe for the support part of my castle and it's awesome. Haven't assembled anything yet, but the dough mixes up great, rolls out so easily (best I've ever tried), and bakes great.

I may switch to the egg recipe for some of the upper parts...in case anyone decides they want to nibble on some.

Thx icon_biggrin.gif




Wonderful! thumbs_up.gif I'm so glad you like it. It's not that the construction recipe is bad tasting or anything like that, it's just a more "durable" dough. The one with the eggs is simply a more traditional recipe.

icon_biggrin.gif

cinderspritzer Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 2:35pm
post #330 of 492

I mixed up my dough yesterday and will be rolling out and baking pieces today. I'm glad PenGwenny came by to say how much she likes it, that makes it a little more enticing for me to get up and go do it.


Tomorrow I'll assemble the house and post a picture of how it looks, bare. I'll post a picture of it decorated after competition is over. icon_smile.gif

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