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Kouign Aman

Gingerbread for houses - do you have a good recipe?

43 posts in this topic

Last time I made the gingerbread, I used a lebkuchen recipe from TimeLife foods of the world. It worked very well, and became hard enough to need a saw to cut. That house lasted years.

This time, I just want to be able to bake a few basic, easy pans full, strong enough to build with but not requiring a woodshop.

Whatcha got?


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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What I have is a pair of recipes, one of which is a true gingerbread, and the other of which is a mocha mahogany dough. Both are perfect house-building material, and remain soft enough to cut and eat while hard enough to hold their shape.

Here's the gingerbread:

1 C butter (or the fat of your choice)

1 C brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1.5 C molasses (the blacker the better)

2 TBSP vinegar

5 C flour (AP is fine)

2 tsp ginger

1 tsp cloves

0.5 tsp cinnamon

0.5 tsp salt

1. Cream the butter with the sugar.

2. In a separate vessel (I use a 4C measuring cup), combine the molasses and soda, stir, and then add the vinegar. Add this to the creamy butter sugar and beat (continuously - leave the mixer on stir).

3. Sift the flour and spices together.

4. Add the flour into the wet ingredients.

The dough will be very short; to make it workable add water by TBSPs until it is just rollable. Roll out with flour to about 1/4" thick, cut your pieces, and bake at 350 F for about 10-12 minutes.

Let me know if you also want the Mocha mahogany.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Aren't the component pieces cut out before baking? Or, would the shrinkage involved make the actual construction too problematic? This is something I've wanted to try for a long time, but haven't yet got around to doing.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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PanCan, thank you!

I havent seen it where the pieces were cut out first, but I likes!

We made the lebkuchen in jelly roll pans and cut it after baking.

So, tomorrow to make a simple pattern and off we go to the races.

The inspiration this year is a fervent desire to use up as much of the child's halloween candy (2010 vintage!) as possible.

This stuff doesnt get better with age.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Mjx, I've actually always precut before baking; that recipe has almost zero shrinkage/warpage/weirdness with it, which means I can plan fairly elaborate structures.

This year, I'm going Spanish Colonial, with a mocha cookie tile roof....


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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And if the pieces need to be shaved or cut down, I've found a rasp or microplane works beautifully. Just work over the trash bin to collect the "sawdust" :biggrin:

ETA: even a cheese grater will work in a pinch


Edited by JeanneCake (log)

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Pictures, please, everyone!



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Let me know if you also want the Mocha mahogany.

If you truly wouldn't mind sharing, please post the Mocha mahogany recipe too. Is this one also a low shrink/warp recipe?

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If you need visual inspiration we have a good topic here.

And another topic that may help:

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My standard gingerbread recipe is very tasty, and depending on the conditions of baking, makes anything from a delicate tasty cookie to an exceptionally sturdy gingerbread house. Abundant pictures in my flickr set from a session building a gingerbread house with my niece a few years ago (she's in high school now, yikes!).

And one just to whet your appetite:

333566943_1d14178796.jpg

Completed House by debunix, on Flickr

It is that time of year, and this weekend I may try for as many as three, depending on my ambition. I prefer to decorate them with dried fruit and nuts rather than candy when making them by myself, cutting shapes out from apricots and peaches when I'm getting ambitious. Will try to take some photos to update the set with the less sugared version when I do....


Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)

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Let me know if you also want the Mocha mahogany.

If you truly wouldn't mind sharing, please post the Mocha mahogany recipe too. Is this one also a low shrink/warp recipe?

It is indeed - depending on how much baking powder you put in, it makes anything from a crisp and sturdy cookie (low baking powder) to a chewy and sturdy building material (higher powder). The less baking powder you use, the less warpage you get, but it doesn't shrink at all. The proportions I'm giving you are for the crisper of the cookies.

Mocha Mahogany

0.5 C sweet butter (no other)

1 C brown sugar

2 TBSP instant coffee - I like one that's been microliophyllized, because it blends better

2 eggs

0.25 C strong actual coffee

2 C flour, minus 4 TBSP

4 TBSP cocoa, non-alkalinized is best (so not Dutch process)

1.5 tsp Baking Powder *

0.5 tsp salt

0.5 tsp vanilla

0.25 C rice or quinua flour

1. Cream the butter with sugar, vanilla, and instant coffee

2. Add the true coffee and eggs, and beat until well mixed

3. Sift the AP flour, cocoa, leaven, and salt into the wet mixture.

4. Beat. This will seem too moist for rolling; add the additional rice or quinua flour by tablespoons until the mixture shortens up a bit and stops clinging to the mixer bowl.

350 F for 10-12 minutes is ideal.

Roll out with a bit of flour; about 1/8" thickness gets you walls about 3/16" and about 1/4" thickness before baking is about 5/16" thick when cooked. Both are more than sufficiently sturdy for house building.

* Bear in mind that you can double the amount of baking powder in the recipe if you want very lofty results; I find that it results in warpage issues and have decreased the amount accordingly. However you should also bear in mind that I'm at a very high altitude and therefore need comparatively less leavening in most of my recipes than folks closer to sea level do.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Panaderia Canadiense, thank you very much for the recipe for mocha mahogany dough.

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Last year I was able to buy golden syrup in the supermarket in Florida - it was in a squeeze bottle with the pancake toppings. I haven't looked lately - a bottle lasts me several years because I only use it in two 'family' recipes. Another source is one of the 'English shops' scattered around the US.

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Why not try substituting corn syrup or fancy molasses in your recipe? I don't have a favorite recipe to point you to at the moment, but anytime I've made gingerbread I've used molasses.

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I remember making gingerbread houses with my daughter when she was little. They weren't really edible, partly because they needed the structure of cardboard to stay up, and because you wouldn't want to eat anything after it sits around for a week or two at room temperature. Are you planning to eat this? If so, I understand your desire for golden syrup. If not, cheap corn syrup might be more practical option.

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This was baked yesterday and assembled today. I'm going to take it tomorrow to my son school party. No cardboard, I glued to the tray with royal icing, made with dry meringue.

I ended up using the lebkuchen recipe, I already tried in the past, which has honey. It worked pretty well. Funny thing is that today a new Whole Foods opened closed by and they of course carry Golden syrup!

image.jpg

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Love the marshmallow snow! Great job. Was your kid impressed?

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Love the marshmallow snow! Great job. Was your kid impressed?

Thanks, Sylvia. He helped a lot and he was very satisfied, he decided which candies to use and how to arrange them. They children in his class were surprised and literally assaulted the house. Now I'm making a small house tomorrow for my girl to bring to nursery.

Franci - great house. Here is a topic with images on gingerbread houses http://forums.egullet.org/topic/96340-gingerbread-houses-pictures/

Heidi, some of those houses are really beautiful, different level of expertise...

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I haven't made a gingerbread house in years and I committed to make one for a fundraiser this year. I have 2 weeks to make it. I pulled the gingerbread recipe from earlier in this topic. I vaguely remember glueing with royal icing and it not working so well. Can someone share a recipe with me that will hold that mother together through a hurricane? Thanks. BTW, the theme is Victorian Christmas and I'm going to go for a Victorian circus Christmas.

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I'm not sure what to suggest Rob. I've always used royal icing with no problem with it holding. The only problem I've ever encountered with my gingerbread buildings was the year I spent weeks making a large Christmas castle layout. The royal icing held just fine but a curious cat decided to roam through the castle grounds while nobody was looking. He managed to knock things over and break things but I don't think there were any failures at the icing joints.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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