Sunday, December 27, 2009

Home for the holidays...

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

We got to build a home, a gingerbread home. This was a really fun challenge. Last year we built little gingerbread houses for the boys to decorate. This year, we built them little houses and then built bigger houses for us moms to decorate. It was fun. Cindy's family and our family built the houses and had a great time. Ed really got into it and Edan's house was a masterpiece. Sebastian wanted nothing to do with the house I made for him, so instead, he built a train with his dad (that was a kit). The houses turned out well and everyone had fun making them, but even more so will be the fun in eating them!!

The actual gingerbread recipe was simple enough to make. I chose the Good Housekeeping one. I ended up adding a bit of extra cream and that seemed to help a lot with it not being so dry. I baked the house the day before then assembled them the morning of the day we were meeting to decorate. I found the glue to stick them together rather interesting. Basically all you do is put sugar in a pot and it slowly melts. I may have stepped away at an inopportune moment but that's what happens when you have a baby and his diaper needed changing. Needless to say, when I finished washing up from that, the sugar was really dark. I'm not sure if it would have been quite so dark if I hadn't been otherwise occupied for five minutes. It still worked really well. One piece fell off and broke into six pieces and the "glue" was perfect to put those pieces back together. So much so, that both Jeremy and Ed thought that's how the side was supposed to look, not realizing it was actually bits of glue to fix my broken piece.

We had all sorts of candy, as is evidenced by the pictures. Smarties, penguins, trees, mini jawbreakers (love them as Christmas lights!!), mini wheats, pretzels, marshmallows, coconut, etc. The royal icing worked well but definitely got easier to work with as the time passed and it warmed up a little from holding the piping bags. It was a super fun afternoon and I look forward to doing this again next year!!

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