How to Create the Perfect Gingerbread House
Christmas is just a few days away, and for a lot of families, this means family gatherings, parties, and of course, the kids are excited. Whether you are traveling, staying home, or taking an Asheville Christmas vacation, building a gingerbread house is a time-honored Christmas tradition! This week we have everything you need to build the ultimate gingerbread house.
Before we get started, you'll need to head to the store to pick up all of your ingredients. Nothing in this recipe should be too hard to find and any good local grocery should have them. Here's what you need:
6 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup dark molasses
1 Tbsp water
Gingerbread Dough Recipe
Making great gingerbread dough is fun and easy. This is perhaps the perfect way to get the kids into the holiday spirit. Remember, all of our Asheville vacation homes have well appointed kitchens, so if you are spending the holidays with us, you can still enjoy making a gingerbread house. Here's how you make the dough:
1. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, set aside.
2. Mix the butter, sugar, eggs, and molasses together. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy and well blended. Next beat in the molasses mixture until well combined.
3. Combine wet and dry ingredients and knead the dough. Beat half of the flour mixture into the molasses mixture until well blended and smooth. Stir in the remaining flour. Knead (or use your mixer's dough hook) until well blended. If the dough is too soft, add a little more flour.
4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours, preferably overnight. You can make it up to 3 days ahead of time. Let sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before rolling out.
Once you've made the dough now it's time to get baking. First, you need to cut out the shapes and patterns you'll need. This is a great time to get creative. Sure you can build a simple square little house, but the sky is the limit when it comes to designing the gingerbread house! Anything you can think of is possible. Have fun, and let your inner architect out.
Three tips to making and baking shapes
1. Roll out the dough on parchment paper.
2. Only make the pieces about 1/4 inch thick and be as consistent as possible.
3. Bake at 350 for 6-15 minutes (depending on size) and rotate them halfway through.
Making Royal Icing
A house is only as good as its foundation, and royal icing is not just used for decorating! It's also the glue that holds the house together. Below you'll find a great recipe for royal icing that is easy to make and sure to give you a beautiful and sturdy house.
2 large egg whites
2, 2/3 cup powdered sugar, divided
1. Whisk together the egg whites and 1-1/3 cups of the powdered sugar until smooth.
2. Add more powdered sugar and beat to stiff peaks: Add the remaining 1 1/3 cup of powdered sugar to the sugar egg mixture. Using an electric mixer beat on high speed until the icing holds stiff peaks. If it doesn't form stiff peaks, add more powdered sugar.
3. Cover unused icing with a damp towel; this will make it more pliable and easy to use.
4. When you are ready to mortar or decorate, fill a pastry bag with the icing. If you don't have a pastry bag, you can make your own with a re-sealable plastic freezer bag, just cut off the tip (a small cut) of one of the corners of the bag.
Once all your ingredients are together and the gingerbread is baked and cooled, now is the time to have fun! Decorating and assembling the cake is the best part of the process. There is truly something magical about creating something so warm and uniquely connected to Christmas. But, we are experts in building awesome vacation experiences not gingerbread houses, so click on the video above to learn from the pros on how to decorate your gingerbread house.
Note: All recipes used in this post can be found at Simply Recipe.
Now that you have built the ultimate gingerbread house, it is time to book the ultimate Asheville cabin for your next Asheville vacation! We have a great selection of homes, cabins, and condos. Winter is one of the best times of the year to visit the North Carolina mountains. Go ahead and discover the splendor of a mountain vacation.
Call us today at 828-274-6978 or click the button below to see our selection of vacation homes.