Gingerbread People

December 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

I found this recipe ( after I did a google search for Christmas Cookies and decided to try it this weekend. I have always dreamed of building a gingerbread house but I have yet to find the cookie cutters that I need and I don’t want to do a template cut out. The other thing that stopped me was the fact that it takes about 3 days to put the house together and I can’t imagine standing guard over the house while it dries. My family loves the walk by and swipe trick and I don’t know how much of the house would actually still be there after 3 days. So, before I make a concerted effort to get the cookie cutters, I decided to try out the recipe first to see if it would stand up to the test. I can happily confirm that it does. The cookie is solid and still crunchy even after the icing has been put on it and I can definately see that it will build a solid house. I made very thick green, red and white glaze icing (500g icing sugar mixed with about 4 tbls lemon juice – rather add too little liquid and keep adding SLOWLY than too much) and let the kids go wild ;o). You will need to make the cookie dough the night before and allow to rest in the fridge and since the cookie is so crisp, you don’t need to roll out the dough too thin, 4mm thick is perfect.

GingerBread (for houses and people)

5 to 5 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup room temperature butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 room temperature egg
1 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Cream together the butter and brown sugar.  Beat in the egg and vanilla. Pour in the molasses.  I spray the measuring cup with cooking spray so that it slides right out. Scrape the bowl. Slowly add the flour mixture. As soon as the flour is incorporated, turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper. I use the paper to form the dough into a rectangle shape.  Wrap up the dough and chill for at least four hours, preferably overnight. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface, about a 1/4 inch thick.  Flour the rolling pin and use either a cookie cutter, or your gingerbread templates.  Put on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or tin foil.  Bake for about 15 to 17 minutes.  Let the pieces cool completely on the cookie sheet before you move them. From here, you can decorate them as you wish, or build a house with them.

21 responses to Gingerbread People

  1. ooh yum! i could eat a gingerbread man right about now. and a blueberry muffin…i am blue!

  2. I spent hours once making a gingerbread house and it collapsed! I did it from a template….never again.

    • Shall I just keep quiet here, Sue? *grinning at the memory*

    • Oh no! All your hard work. I would be so stressed out by the end of putting it together, I would need to have a lie down for a few days…I agree with Blondie, that amount of stress does not gel with the “festive spirit”…I’m wondering now if a safer option wouldn’t perhaps be to make four ginger bread loves and stack them together and then turn that into a house…it would still be a gingerbread house…wouldn’t it?

  3. I decided to make a once-off gingerbread house a few years back – I used a template & it worked like a dream (but it was a LOT of work with even more of a lot of bad words thrown in, which kind of kills the festive spirit)! The next year my brother came over from Oz and forwarded a stern order that, as he’d never had a gingerbread house, I had to make one for him too.
    This means I’ve made enough for 2 lifetimes! If you like, I’ll post a photo & the recipe I used before Christmas?

    • Thanks Blondie! I had a feeling it’s not as easy as the internet makes it look. The blog I got this recipe from actually tripled the recipe and made 3 houses with her children over the period of like a week. I would go insane. I think if I attempt it at some point in my life, I would have to be home alone while I make it and have a stiff drink next to me ;o). I would love to see your pictures…

      • It’s definitely a ‘I need to do this once in my lifetime with a large drink at hand’ experience!! I’ll post the pic for you in the next day or so … :)

  4. OK, I’ve posted the pic for you! :)

    • Thank you! The cookies tasted really great too. I’m so glad that I finally found a recipe for gingerbread men that tastes like the genuine, old fashioned kind that you buy from farmstalls in small towns ;o)

  5. Awesome gingerbread cookies rumtum…..we also made ours today. Will be icing them tomorrow. Hugs and have a wonderful festive season. Best wishes to you and yours xx

    • Thanks for the comment Browniegirl! Sending hugs and best wishes to you and your family too ;o). Have a wonderful Christmas and wishing you the most awesome 2012!

  6. PS I promised someone a Christmas cake recipe here on food24 and i cannot remember who it was. Please let me know if it was you….come and tell me as I am not getting comment notifications please. Thanks xx

  7. Lovely cookies and well done you on all that patience! Bet the kiddos had much fun too

  8. What’s up, just wanted to tell you, I loved this post. It was funny. Keep on posting!

  9. Naturally I like your web site, however you have to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very silly to tell you. Nevertheless I’ll definitely come back again!

  10. Hi there, this looks just perfect for the Christmas tree! Any advice on how to keep the biscuits and gingerbread house fresh once completed?

    • Hi Lizzy, I battled with the same problem when I made these cookies. I would suggest that these are kept in an airtight container and only go onto the tree on Christmas morning or you will have to put each one into clear little cellophane bags and hang it on the tree from a pretty ribbon. With regard to the house, I would set up 2 large sheets of plastic that can be opened to lie flat under the cake board and closed over it once the icing is dry to keep any dirt or insects from getting on it. This is especially useful and the gingerbread house needs to dry throughly between each stage to ensure that it doesn’t just collapse when you try to move it. The gingerbread house has to be assembled over 2-3 days to ensure that it remains stable. Thank you for the comment and I hope my advice helped :)

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