Monday, December 23, 2013
Tudor Gingerbread House
I have to admit up front here that I live in a desert climate. Since living here, I have never had any problem with gingerbread bending from weight and the royal icing I use is nothing fancy (egg whites, powdered sugar and cream of tartar), but I have never had a problem with it and it drys rapidly enough that my problem is not getting the gingerbread to stay together until it drys, but getting it together right the first time because the royal icing will be partially dry before I get a chance to move it around. In other words, I live in a pretty ideal place for gingerbread house experimentation and I am not sure how this would hold up in, say, Houston, TX or Canandaigua, NY.
For those that are interested, the water wheel was something I made by just cutting out two wheel shapes and putting some rectangle pieces in between. I really think I just straight up cut out the shape and baked it and it worked just fine, but, to avoid potential warping of the skinny spokes, you could employ the same baking technique I will detail below. The wreath was made from cut up gumdrops stuck back together; we were rather proud of the result. The chimney is made of "bricks" that are actually some of the stones cut sideways.
Last year, I did not make a gingerbread house; I had a baby instead. This year we decided to make a Tudor style house, partially because we live in one. The other part was that I wanted to see if I could make my walls using a bunch of royal icing again.
After everything was baked and partially cool, I carefully turned it over and removed the wax paper from the back. Actually, the first time I tried to remove the wall from the wax paper, but it cracked. I was able to salvage it without much trouble, but peeling the wax paper from the wall is the way to go.
I decorated with leftover Halloween candy from the trick or treaters we did not get. I never did go out and get other candy before I started building and was too exhausted to do much by the time I was done. It would probably be much cuter with a better roof like the frosted shredded wheat I did last time or maybe some Necco wafers, but I was beat and so was Patrick. This gingerbread house probably took two weeks to make, but most of that time was feeling overwhelmed about what I had decided to do and being puzzled about how exactly to proceed. The end result is that I can report this method works and shows promise of a very impressive house in the future, but the house this time is a bit lack luster in comparison to the stone mill.