December is the month for traditions. Every year my sister and I play the movie “Eloise at Christmas Time”, dress up in our Christmas onesies and sit down at the kitchen table to create THE gingerbread house of the year. What could be better than all of your favourite candies and chocolates piled high on top of an edible masterpiece!
Having moved out of the house and having a family of our own, I have learned how important it is to keep some of these traditions alive while creating a few new ones of our own. Jason and I made a goal this month to come up with 3 new holiday traditions! I highly recommend starting a tradition at the beginning of any new season. We’re saving instant photos from each time we do this, how great will it be to go back and look at them one day!
This is our family gingerbread recipe, they can also be cut into cookies and enjoyed over a cup of tea!
3 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp ginger
- Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat until combined. Add egg, molasses, and vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in ginger and all off the flour mixture.
- Cover; chill dough 3 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375*F
- On a lightly floured surface roll dough to about 1/4″ thickness. Cut dough using the house measurements below.
For the sides, roof, and base to the following sizes:
Roof (2): 7″ x 5″
Side Walls (2): 4″ x 6″
Front/Back (2): 4″ x 4″x 7″ (at the highest peak)
- Arrange the cutouts about 1″ apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are light brown.
- Transfer to wire racks; cool.
- Spoon royal icing into a piping bag and pipe designs onto gingerbread panels. Let dry.
Pipe generous snakes of icing along the wall edges, one by one, to join the walls together. Use a small bowl to support the walls from the inside, then allow to dry, ideally for a few hours.
- Once dry, remove the supports and fix the roof panels on. The angle is steep so you may need to hold these on firmly for a few minutes until the icing starts to dry.
- Dry completely, ideally overnight.
- Place the gingerbread house on a white or silver platter covered with powdered sugar or coconut to make a snowy effect.
- Using your favourite candy and chocolate assemble and decorate a cozy candy shack for eating and/or displaying.