The after school gingerbread project: outtakes

The after school gingerbread house wouldn’t have been a normal kitchen project without excessive silliness from my two monkeys.

Most of it happened off camera, but I captured some of the laughs as they went down. Oh my.

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The after school gingerbread project: decorating the house

The moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived – at least, if you are a small child who seldom is allowed unrestricted access to a table of candy, it has.

Our base gingerbread house is solid. We’ve assembled our decorations and mixed together the icing. This is the part of the after school gingerbread project where we can leave the recipe aside and get creative. It’s time to use our imaginations to decorate a gingerbread house that is pure holiday magic.

You’ll need another Ziplock bag with royal icing and one corner snipped, for applying the ‘glue’ to the house and your collection of candy for decorating.

Mateo’s tip: A warm cloth for sticky fingers is a good idea! [Read more…]

The after school gingerbread project: icing and assembly

Last night in the bakery section of my supermarket, I spotted a stack of generic kits for gingerbread houses. I wasn’t tempted to buy one in the slightest, knowing that we were all set at home to assemble our very own, freshly baked creation.

Now that we have prepared our ingredients, mixed our dough, and baked our pieces, it is finally time to raise the walls and put a roof on our gingerbread house.

No, we’re not going to fully decorate in this post, because it is best to let the house dry overnight before adding roof tiles and all the other details. At least, this is my experience. You can certainly carry right on through if you like.

Let’s get to the recipe for royal icing and the assembly process.

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The after school gingerbread project: rolling & baking

Yesterday’s project was all about sifting and stirring; today is about snipping and sizing. It’s both a craft project and a baking project, so you’ll need scissors and a rolling pin.

Once again, Noah and Mateo are your hosts for this step, and they begin with cutting out the template for the gingerbread house pieces.

The after school gingerbread project: 5 simple steps. 2 happy kids. 1 edible house. www.simplebites.net [Read more…]

The after school gingerbread project: mixing the dough

Like most Christmas baking projects, this one starts with butter and sugar. Not much sugar, though, as most of the sweetness of the dough comes from molasses. And what a fine dough it is, fragrant with spices and supple to the touch.

Today’s project is to mix up our gingerbread dough and let it chill in the refrigerator. We’ve already assembled our ingredients, now it is time to wash our hands, tie on aprons, and begin!

The full recipe is at the bottom of the post, but first, watch Noah (he’s 8 and wearing the red shirt) and Mateo (who is 5, and wearing black) mix up their dough. I turned the mixer on and off for them, but they prepared the rest.

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