Ok, I know, it's already gone by but I'm stretching the last day of Christmas to the 6th because today is Epiphany and I haven't made or even eaten any Galette des Rois to share with you. I am consoling myself by sharing my gingerbread house instead, and I feel that requires it still to be the Christmas season, so I declare today the 13th and final day of Christmas.
I made this house a few weeks before Christmas with some friends. We used an Epicurious method which appears slightly involved, but the gingerbread itself was fantastic and we followed our own method with building the house (see the dough and icing recipes below). It was really fun playing at being an architect, wax paper blueprints and all. Next year I am definitely building the mid-century bungalow that I was dreaming of this year.
This year's house itself has been destroyed (by a pair of sugar-high six-year-olds), but the photos remain...
Gingerbread and Royal Icing
(adapted from Bon Appetit, 2000 via epicurious.com)
6 3/4 cups all purpose flour
4 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 cups solid vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup robust (dark) molasses
Sift flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and cardamom into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat shortening in large bowl until fluffy. Add sugar and beat to blend. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Add molasses and beat on high speed until well blended. Add dry ingredients in 4 additions, beating at low speed until dough forms. Chill dough for at least one hour.
4 large egg whites
7 to 7 1/2 cups powdered white sugar
Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in medium bowl until very foamy, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Beat until well blended. Add remaining cups sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating until well blended after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.Beat icing at high speed until very thick and stiff, about 5 minutes.