Hello, everyone! My name is S. L. Saboviec, and I’m an SFF author. I’m excited to be part of Rhonda’s Giftmas blog tour, and I’m so glad to be here today on Kristina’s blog.
When I was growing up, my mother used to make miniature gingerbread houses.
She had a real assembly line going—at one point, she was making a couple hundred every Christmas. She would give them away to friends and relatives or sell them to my dad’s coworkers and at the church Christmas bazaar. People would go crazy over these things:
I’m sure you can see why. They’re 100% edible and 200% adorable.
A few years ago, I decided to make them myself. The picture above is my attempt in 2011. They turned out pretty well, but they were a lot of work. It takes three days to make them because you have to leave a day for drying between each of three steps. However, if you’d like to embark on some fun Christmas craftiness, here’s how.
Baking ingredients & assorted candies
Large mixing bowl
Mixer (Hand or bowl)
Sealable tupperware or bowl & wet cloth
Cake decorating tips (#4 or #5, #18)
Seriously, more patience
DAY 1: MAKE THE GINGERBREAD
2 2/3 cups flour
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
¾ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses
This recipe makes 8-9 houses.
Sift together flour, salt, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Cream together butter, brown sugar, and molasses. Gently blend flour mixture into butter mixture well. Chill at least 1 hour or overnight in covered bowl. Roll out on generously floured board to ¼ inch. (Note: Cookies must be thin so they dry stiff and the houses hold their shape.)
Cut into shapes, and bake on greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees about 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool slightly on pan before removing to wax paper. Let dry out on countertop overnight.
Make cardboard templates and cut from rolled-out gingerbread with a sharp knife.
1 x round base = 4 inches diameter
2 x Five-sided end pieces:
Bottom = 2 1/2 inches
Height of sides = 1 3/4 inches
Height to the peak = 3 3/16 inches (approx)
2 x Side pieces:
Bottom = 1 7/8 inches
Height = 1 3/4 inches
2 x Roof pieces = 2 inches x 2 inches
DAY 2: CONSTRUCT THE HOUSES
3 large egg whites at room temperature
½ tsp cream of tartar
1 pound or 4 ¼ cups powdered sugar
This recipe makes about 2 cups royal icing.
Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until frothy. Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing well. Beat for 7 minutes until dry enough (stiff).
Keep covered in Tupperware or with wet cloth at all times or it will dry out around the edges and top.
Glue houses together with Royal Icing. Use cake frosting tip #4 or #5 for gluing pieces together. Let dry overnight.
DAY 3: CONSTRUCT THE HOUSES
After 24 hours, use fresh & stiff Royal Icing again to add assorted candies to decorate. You can use whatever you want, but here are some suggestions.
Front – Tin-foil wrapped chocolate Santas
Front step and side “windows” – Smarties (US) / Rockets (Canada)
Roof – M&Ms or Reese’s pieces
Chimney – Tootsie roll cut in half
Fence around the outside – Red hots (For the picture above, I cut up a multi-colored gummy thing because I couldn’t find them.)
Front and back “window” at the top – Jujubees or gumdrops
Use cake frosting tip #18 for squiggling “snow.” Let dry overnight again.
SWEET TREAT OR DECORATION
Each house can be bagged up. They can be eaten or kept for years in the freezer to be used as decoration.
It’s a lot of work, but a fun family tradition. Enjoy.
Thank you, Kristina, for having me here today!
I’m an author whose dark, thought-provoking science fiction & fantasy contains flawed, relatable characters and themes that challenge the status quo. My first release, Guarding Angel is available at several major eBook retailers and on Amazon in paperback: Kindle | Kobo | Nook | Google Play | Paperback (Amazon) | Goodreads. The sequel, Reaping Angel, will be released in spring 2016.
Don’t forget to enter the #GiftmasTour Rafflecopter, where you could win an eCopy of Guarding Angel: