A new employee of mine, Casey, recently made the crazy decision to volunteer to make a gingerbread house with my kids. So on Friday evening, Casey came over, along with a couple of our other friends, a couple bottles of red wine, and big plans of making a healthy and delicious gingerbread house.
The video below shows the highlights of the experience, which lasted all of one evening and then the whole next morning, too!
Below the video you will find more detailed instructions.
While the final result isn’t a picture-perfect beauty like the houses I’m seeing all over Instagram these days, my kids had a blast, I retained my sanity, and the many cookies they ate were actually pretty healthy. So over all, I am calling this a win! Thank you, Casey!
TO MAKE THE DOUGH
- 6 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 3 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 1/2 cups organic butter
- 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 3/4 cup robust, dark molasses
- Roll of parchment paper, for rolling out dough
- Cardboard, for house templates
- Pastry bag or large freezer bag
- Sift all dry ingredients except for sugar in a medium sized bowl (flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cardamom).
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add sugar and beat into mix thoroughly, then add in eggs one at a time. Add molasses and continue to beat at high speed until well blended. Add dry ingredients in small amounts, turning mixer down to lower speed.
- Divide dough into six equal balls and wrap in parchment paper.
- Chill until firm enough to roll, technically this should be four hours at least, but we did about half an hour and it was fine.
TO MAKE THE ICING
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 7 cups coconut confectioners sugar
- Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in medium bowl until foamy (about a minute). Adding 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar during this period, then add remaining cups sugar in small increments, mixing until well blended.
- Beat icing at high speed until thick and stiff, about 5 minutes. Spoon into pastry bag or large Ziplock freezer bag.
TO MAKE THE HOUSE
- Take your dough out of the refrigerator and place in between two fresh sheets of parchment paper, making sure the templates are smaller than the parchment. Roll out dough to about 1/4″, making sure the parchment is not causing any wrinkles in the dough.
- Using a piece of cardboard and a ruler, cut out panels for your house. This dough can make enough for a house that’s 9″ tall at peak of the roof, 8″ in length, and 5″ wide, but this part of the design is up to you. Extra dough can be used for gingerbread en, trees, and so on. For our house, we cut two matching panels for the roof, two matching panels for the side walls and two matching panels for the front and back of the house.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, with the rack in the center. Bake your house pieces on a greased cookie sheet for about 12 minutes. Dough should just be browning on the edges and firm to touch in the center. Remove from oven and let cool on drying rack. Repeat process for all sides of the house, making sure not to place dough onto hot cookie sheets. (Sheets can be cooled by running under cold water.) You’ll want to let the panels cool all the way before constructing the house.
- To construct the house, use lots of icing to hold pieces into place.
Healthier Decoration Ideas:
P.S. You’ll notice in this post that I’ve linked a variety of ingredients to Thrive Market. If you aren’t familiar with Thrive, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s a Costco meets Whole Foods meets Amazon model, with hard-to-find healthful foods delivered, for free, at steeply discounted prices. We’ve partnered with Thrive to get you $60 off your first three orders.