Thursday, December 16, 2010

Swedish Gingerbread House

Sweet details such as piped icicles, boughs of greenery, and a cinnamon-stick woodpile lend realistic charm to this Swedish gingerbread cottage by Martha Stewart. A light dusting of confectioners' sugar mimics freshly fallen snow.
Gingerbread Cookie Dough – Makes enough for one house, plus embellishments
1/4 cups packed dark-brown sugar
3/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out gingerbread dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Chill until firm, about 1 hour. Lightly dust top of dough with flour. Place templates on top and cut out shapes with a paring knife. (Use a small utility knife to cut out the windows.) Transfer shapes to parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Royal Icing - Makes about 5 cups

2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons meringue powder
Scant 1 cup water, plus more if needed

Place royal icing in a pastry bag fitted with a medium plain tip (No. 5 or 6).
Use the royal icing as the ‘glue’ to assemble your Gingerbread house. Coat only the edge that will be joined.
Pipe to outline windows, doorway, and edges of chimney, including top and base. Outline the four joining points of house, sides, and top of roof. Decorate roof: Starting at the top, pipe a horizontal line of icing in a scallop pattern, making curves in even intervals; pipe another scalloped line so the peaks join the scallops above them in the middle. Pipe icicles around edges. Dust roof with confectioners' sugar.

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