Sunday, January 3, 2010

Little House on the Big Blue Mat, Or: I Make Gingerbread Houses Cry.

Christmastime brings about gingerbread houses galore. There are kits in grocery stores, there are competitions, there are days at home spent constructing the houses only to be devoured shortly after.

And then there's me.

I never was one for gingerbread houses. Or gingerbread men, for that matter. I never liked the icing. I never liked ginger. Sure, I might have had fun decorating them as a kid (the men, not the houses; the houses frustrated me) but I never did eat them. I was also a kid who did not like the marshmallows in Lucky Charms. I would pick out the marshmallows and eat only the cereal.

So you can understand why I was less than enthusiastic about this month's Daring Baker's challenge. Gingerbread houses? Are you kidding me? Gross. But I carried on and figured I'd do it later. Ha. I didn't remember about it until Friday. Yeah. So Saturday, I scaled down the recipe. Replaced the ginger with cinnamon. Made the dough. And then forgot about it until eight o' clock tonight. Only because I saw the dough in the fridge when I was putting my salsa away.

I rolled out my dough. Cut some shapes. Enough shapes for two houses. Chilled them. Baked them. Cut them. Quickly threw together the given royal icing recipe. And then I assembled them. They stayed. Woo.... I guess. I just needed them to stay long enough for pictures to be taken. Then I thickened up the icing with more sugar to decorated the outside of the houses. I was in the middle of making a parchment paper cone when.... the first house crumpled into a heap of molasses-tasting rectangles. Molasses is gross, by the way. I don't know if you knew that. I didn't. I'd never used it before. I do now, though.

Anyway. So I randomly piped icing onto the house and took pictures. I really didn't care at all. It made the house cry. I wonder if it's crumpled yet...?

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'd give you the recipe, but I'm lazy. And I don't want it anymore, so. Yeah.


Hairylea said...

Hi there

I have a few questions regarding your Shamrock Cake recipe (Mint Cheesecake):

1) Why do we need a tin of water underneath the cheescake mix in the oven?

2) Do we beat 4 eggs and then take out a tablespoon? this part is confusing me a little :~

Please reply to

Many thanks :)

Ashley Nicole. said...

In response to your questions about the mint cheesecake:

The pan of water underneath the cheesecake helps bring humidity into the oven whilst the cake bakes to prevent it the top from getting a skin and drying out.

As for the eggs, you can do it that way as well. You see, the recipe I used for the cheesecake was my basic cheesecake recipe, but scaled down a bit. Since I scaled it down, the amount of eggs I needed became "3 and 3/4 eggs." To obtain that three-fourths of an egg, I beat the fourth egg and just removed a tablespoon of the beaten egg and threw away that one tablespoon, which left me with three and three-quarter eggs. If you'd like, you can beat all four eggs and remove one tablespoon. It was all to keep the proportion of eggs correct.

Montie_M said...

your cookies picture are sooooo mouthwatering and beautiful at the same time. i don't know how to cook actually :-)) but i think i will learn how to it someday using all your recipes..

Ashley Nicole. said...

Aww, thank you, Montie! :]