Making a gingerbread house at Christmas time is a tradition in a lot of families. When I saw that Staci Troilo was having a virtual cookie recipe exchange, I thought I would contribute my gingerbread recipe and the instruction on how to assemble a gingerbread house. You can read Staci’s post here: https://stacitroilo.wordpress.com/2021/12/16/first-cookie-exchange/
Ingredients (enough for a house)
3 cups white sugar
500 grams salted butter (slightly melted)
3 Tbsp zest of an orange or lemon
4 Tbsp golden syrup
4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp cloves
2 tsp ginger powder
6 cups plain all-purpose / cake flour
In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between. Add the citrus zest and the golden syrup. Beat again, scrapping down sides if necessary. Add the bicarb, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves and beat. Lastly, add the flour, 2 cups at a time, beating thoroughly in between.
Take the sticky dough and divide into five. Roll out each portion of dough on a piece of wax paper, shiny side up. If it sticks, lay another piece of wax paper over the dough while rolling. Lift the rectangular shaped piece on the wax paper carefully onto a baking tray.
Bake each sheet of dough for approximately 20 minutes on 180 degrees Celsius. Remove from oven and wait 5 minutes before cutting out your house using a house cookie cutter or a template printed onto paper and cut out.
Once your shapes are cut out, return to oven and bake for a further 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely. The biscuits should be hard and not bendy.
Make royal icing as follows:
Beat 3 eggs whites with 1/4 tsp cream of tartar until frothy. Gradually add 500 grams of icing sugar and once it is all incorporated, beat the mixture for a further 2 minutes until it is thick and glossy. Transfer the royal icing to an icing bag or a zip lock freezer bag with one corner cut off.
Squeeze a thick layer of royal icing along all joining walls and assemble the ‘box’ shaped house. Allow to dry for 2 hours. Add the roof using royal icing. If the icing is the correct consistency, you will not need anything to keep the building in place while it dries.
Decorate as desired. The gingerbread houses below were all made using the same house cookie cutter.