Sunday, December 15, 2013

The First-Ever Gingerbread House From Scratch Chronicles!

On the train back to DC on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, it dawned on me: it was December 1, and I had done exactly zero planning for my made-from-scratch gingerbread house that I set as an intention for this year after being inspired by Amy Lavender.

By the end of the week, I was in panic mode: my as-of-yet unmade gingerbread house was being entered in a work-related gingerbread "structure" contest to represent the office. Long story short: with a little bit of Chicago-style voting, my first-ever made from scratch gingerbread structure came in 3rd out of 6!

Yes, gearheads, those are a pair of Rossi G7 skis on the porch.
5 mm underfoot, tinfoil/gingerbread sandwich construction.

The process:

Day 1 - Because my planning was subpar, I used templates from King Arthur Flour.

While the wall and roof pieces (and miniature skis!) baked, I got to work on the porch and melted what would become "glass" for the windows.

 I also assembled the first walls.

Day 2: I woke up, and to my utter delight, the structure was still standing! Before heading in to the office, I put on the roof and added a row of wintergreen candies to the peppermint bark "porch."

When I got home, I worked on the pretzel fence for the porch, reinforced the walls with icing, and began decorating.

Day 3: Decorating day! I put up trees, shutters, a door, walkway, bunnies, and "piping" on the roof. It basically took the entire day...

Feeling at the last minute that the side walls looked naked, I added the m&ms, which are seen in the first two photos above.

Next year, I have to outsource the baking. I'm imprecise with measurements and don't care about whether they're correct, which is sort of a bad combo for baking. I actually made an earlier batch of dough that I wound up not using because it was incredibly crumbly. I blame that on looking at a stick of butter and guestimating that it was the right amount...better luck next year!