Christmas Baking

One of the things I remember best about Christmas as a child is all of the yummy Christmas treats my mom used to make for us.  From about the end of November she would keep the kitchen in a constant state of activity and there was always something for us to help out with.  Decorating cookies, dipping chocolate cherries, washing dishes…but mostly ‘cleaning’ the icing mixers of all that pesky leftover icing.  Someone had to do it.

In an effort to get ‘into the Christmas Spirit’ and to really help Danni celebrate her first festive season, we’ve decided to renew that tradition and make ourselves fat bake all of my childhood favourites.  Last week was butter tarts and a new addition called Rocky Road Crunches.  (We’ll actually have to remake both of these this weekend as our supply has already run dry.)

This past weekend we made sugar cookies and something a bit more challenging but an all time favourite from my childhood.  The gingerbread house.

Sugar Cookies with my fancy new cookie cutters.

Not wanting to tackle the gingerbread house blindly, I picked up this book from Amazon last week and read all of the important bits before setting out on our confection construction.  I then spent a fair bit of time looking at gingerbread house images online to decide just how to design our first home. The book includes a design for a simple 4 walled affair, boring!    I wanted to branch out and push the limits a bit so I spent a good hour designing the templates necessary.  It was admittedly a little ambitious and would either be a great first attempt or a glorious mess of gingerbread and frosting.

I figured delicious either way, so why not go all out!

Baking the gingerbread house bits.

I messed up a bit on the actual gingerbread recipe by using too much flour so it was tough to roll out, but we managed after letting it warm back up to room temperature.  Patience is not easy and I’m sure as a 6 year old I wouldn’t have stood for this delay, but it was a necessary step.

One of the things I remember clearly about my mom’s gingerbread houses were the candy glass windows so I knew I had to recreate those.  There were instructions in the book on how to do it, but that involved making them separately  and gluing them in with icing after.  Certain that’s not how we did it as a child, a quick call to mom revealed the secret and we were on our way.

After adding the candy glass to the windows.

I really wanted to take a few photos of us doing the actual construction and decoration of our first home, but there was so much icing and powdered sugar everywhere so you’ll have to use your imagination for that part.  The final home looks like this:

The front of our new home.

Side view with the shuttered window.

The other side of our home.

Final shot of the front of the building, fancy trees and all.

Surprising 2 whole days later it looks exactly the same.  It may have something to do with the fact that I ate my weight in candy while building and decorating the house.  It turns out I still need my mom around to tell me to stop eating all of the sweets as I have the same self control my 6 year old self had when it comes to sugar.

There are a couple more photos of the house and cookies in the gallery.

4 Responses to “Christmas Baking”

  1. Anke Says:

    Nice. I see you were coy enough not to give away mom’s secret 🙂

  2. Kevin Says:

    Gotta leave something for the comments section!

    You just cut out the windows and bake the pieces as normal. Then find some clear hard candies and crush them into a powder and fill in the holes left for the windows. Pop the whole thing back into the oven until the candy powder melts which takes around 2 minutes or so, then back out onto the counter to cool and harden.

    That’s it!

  3. zoe tydeman Says:

    that is so friggin’ cool!!! 🙂

  4. Kate Jackson Says:

    I want a housemade out of Gingerbread!

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