Saturday, December 19, 2009

Daring Bakers December!!

I'M BACK!!!!! Yay! Lucian is now 10 weeks old and doesn't need to be held and cuddled quite as much and I'm not nearly as tired as I was, so I'm back in action on the Daring Bakers Scene. Woot!
For those of you not on my other blog, here is a gratuitous picture of my handsome little man!

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.


I was so excited for this one. I was gonna have a friend here in Germany help me decorate them since she'd been having a rough month, then it got even rougher and we decided to cancel. Instead the husband and I decorated them one night in all our Christmas goodness. We had a TON of fun!! I used Y's recipe since I didn't have molasses in the house. I thought it turned out great and didn't have any problems at all, although I know that others had both dryness and shrinkage to combat.

Y's Recipe:
Scandinavian Gingerbread (Pepparkakstuga)
from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas

1 cup butter, room temperature [226g]
1 cup brown sugar, well packed [220g]
2 tablespoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground cloves ( I will admit that since I accidentally bought whole cloves and had no way to grind them I just used allspice as it's kind of a little bit similar. Lol)
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ cup boiling water
5 cups all-purpose flour [875g]

1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until blended. Add the cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix the baking soda with the boiling water and add to the dough along with the flour. Mix to make a stiff dough. If necessary add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Chill 2 hours or overnight.

2. Cut patterns for the house, making patterns for the roof, front walls, gabled walls, chimney and door out of cardboard.

3. Roll the dough out on a large, ungreased baking sheet and place the patterns on the dough. Mark off the various pieces with a knife, but leave the pieces in place. ( My patterns were on the paper there. I forgot to take pictures)

4. [I rolled out the dough on a floured bench, roughly 1/8 inch thick (which allows for fact that the dough puffs a little when baked), cut required shapes and transferred these to the baking sheet. Any scraps I saved and rerolled at the end.]

5. Preheat the oven to 375'F (190'C). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the cookie dough feels firm. After baking, again place the pattern on top of the gingerbread and trim the shapes, cutting the edges with a straight-edged knife. Leave to cool on the baking sheet

My pieces didn't end up shrinking at all, but I did forget to trim the edges after cooking so they weren't perfectly square. Also When we built them we both put our side walls inside the gabled walls rather than the other way around so the roof ended up too short. We made it work though and may have jammed some marshmallows and/or anything else we could find in the gap =) We're a resourceful people! My royal icing was slightly runny which was totally my fault since I may not have actually measured my powdered sugar and instead just sort of added it as I felt inspired. I'm like that. Be afraid. We also used simple sugar to glue it all together!My husband made a "Door for his bitches" aka a doggy door lol


  1. Happy New Year !!!

    2010 New Year's Fireworks show

  2. Your house is too cute. I love the gingerbread man on the roof.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  3. Yum! I moved my cookbook from Blogger to Wordpress so now it's HERE but I still have you on my sidebar :D