The kids FINALLY got to decorate the houses today!!
It took a while to get to it since I decided to try making them myself this year. Spending $12.99 on ONE house the kids have to share just seems silly. I bought this Gingerbread House cutter set for $8.99 at Michael's or JoAnn's. I am already looking forward to getting to use it every year. They can now make houses for any holiday they want!
I used this recipe from Food Network. The recipe is for a smaller house than my cutters, so I actually made 3 batches of dough to make 2 houses. Justin and Noelle each ate some of the leftover cookie and said it was very good. I have never in my life tried actually eating gingerbread anything and I'm not starting now.
Step 1 - cream together the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, molasses, and baking soda until the mixture is smooth.
Looks smooth, right?! LOL!
Step 2 - Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough. This was easier said than done. I had to finish with my hand, the mixture just couldn't get all the flour blended in from the bottom of the bowl.
BTW, this is what happens when you insist on sticking things into the mixing bowl while it is still moving. Oops! At least it was a cheap one and not a Pampered Chef.
Step 3 - Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. I did this step for the first two batches, but it was very hard to roll out. I skipped it for the last batch and it was much easier. I would recommend maybe chilling 5-10 minutes only.
It even looks hard, see all the cracks!
Step 4 - Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough out and cut shapes.
Step 5 - Bake for 15 minutes. Re-cut shapes over existing lines right away. You have to do this while the dough is still soft. Leave on baking sheet to fully cool.
Step 6 - Make royal icing and have husband build houses so they have plenty of time to harden together.
Making the icing was interesting. I had never made my own before. It was REALLY thick and perfect for the grout needed to hold the walls and roof together. It would not have worked for actually frosting something though.
Step 7 - Decorate!!
Can you tell she's excited!?
Noelle was having some sliding issues.
Pretty lights on the roof and fruit slice bushes.
Justin said we should add an empty sleigh to the top of Noelle's. Why empty? Because it looks like there was a massacre on the roof. Adam's is very nice though. I hope Santa made it to that house first.
Next year we will be keeping the red away from Noelle. Also, the tiny tubes of gel icing we had on hand don't work as well as the writing icing tubes.