Christmas Ginger Cookie Cottage
ready in 17 h.
- 1.333 cups
- ¾ cup
light brown sugar
- ¾ cup
dark brown sugar
- 0.333 cup
- 0.333 cup
- 5 cups
- 2 teaspoons
- 3 teaspoons
- 1 teaspoon
- ¼ teaspoon
- For the royal icing
- 4 cups
powdered sugar (plus extra for dusting)
- To decorate
- 1 cup
Fondant icing (ready made)
tea light (battery operated)
1 Small skillet, 1 Baking sheet, 1 Bowl, 1 Cutting board, 1 Large knife, 2 Tablespoons, 1 Wooden spoon, 1 Brush, 1 Mandoline
Heat the oven to 180°C | 350F | gas mark 4. Line 2 large baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Make templates from thin card. For the front and back walls: 12.7 x 17.7 cm; side walls: 12.7 x 15.2 cm; roof: 10.7 x 17.7 cm. You will need 2 of each.
Heat the butter with the sugars, golden syrup and treacle in a pan until just melted, but don’t allow to become too hot.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter mixture and mix together. Knead the mixture for a few seconds until it comes together, adding a little water if necessary. Flatten the dough into a round about 2cm thick, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out about a quarter of the dough to 5mm thick. Place one of the card templates on the dough and cut around it with a sharp knife, then slide the dough on to a baking tray. Repeat with remaining dough until you have a front and back wall, two side walls and two roof panels. Re-roll the leftover dough to make into the chimney and Christmas trees, , using different sized cookie cutters for the trees.
Bake all the pieces in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Leave for a few minutes on the baking trays to firm up. Carefully lift each piece onto a wire rack, and trim around the template to give sharp edges. Cut a door out of the front wall and cut out windows in the side and front walls. Leave all the pieces to cool completely. Put the gingerbread in an airtight tin and leave overnight until crisp – if you decorate the house with icing too soon, the dough may become soft and the house will be wobbly.
For the icing: place the egg whites in a large bowl, sift in the icing sugar, then stir to make a thick, smooth icing. The icing should stand in firm peaks.
Spread or pipe a line of icing onto a cake board, and press in one of the side walls, so that it sticks firmly and stands upright. If necessary, spread or pipe a little extra icing along either side to help support it. Take an end wall and ice both the side edges. Spread or pipe a line of icing on the board at a right angle to the first wall, and press the end wall into position. Repeat this process with the other two walls until they are in position. Leave the walls to harden for at least 30 minutes before putting on the roof. Cover the bowl of royal icing with clingfilm to keep it moist.
Place a battery operated tea light inside the house. Stick the two roof sections together at an angle and set the two pieces on top of the house. Hold the roof in place for a few minutes until it dries, then leave it for 30 minutes until set. Pipe or spread a little icing along the crest of the roof to hold the two pieces firmly together. Attach the chimney using royal icing. Leave for at least 2 hours to set firmly. Cover the bowl of royal icing with clingfilm to keep it moist.
Dust a surface with icing sugar and roll out the fondant paste thinly and cut out small circles. Spread royal icing over the roof. While the icing is soft press in circles of fondant in neat rows.
‘Glue’ the gingerbread Christmas trees around the house, using a dab of royal icing. Decorate the trees with any remaining icing. Sift over icing sugar to create a snowy effect