So the kids are off from school (or work for the big kids like me) so you might have some little people on your hands to entertain this christmas time. Why not get them in the kitchen and make a cute and festive gingerbread house. This recipe is enough to make a house using this template and will leave you enough for a few extra gingerbread men which would make great christmas tree decorations too. Its a perfect christmas time recipe as the dough takes no time at all to make, is kid friendly and its fun, whack on some Wham or Slade, enjoy a glass of mulled wine (maybe not for the kids!) and just have fun making it. If you make one I would love to see the results so please do post the pictures on my facebook page.
200g unsalted butter
200g soft dark brown sugar
4 tbsp golden syrup
500g self raising flour
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 180C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large saucepan set over medium heat melt the sugar and butter together. Whilst melting in a medium bowl mix the remaining ingredients together. Once melted remove the pan from the heat and pout the butter mixture over the flour and mix together to form a stiff dough.
Lightly dust the worksurface with flour and roll the dough out until it is about the thickness of a pound coin. Using your chosen template cut out your gingerbread house pieces and gently place onto the parchment lined baking trays.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until set around the edges. Cool completely on wire racks before using to build your house.
To build your house you will need a stable base to start with, I used a square cake board which works perfectly. You need a thick royal icing to act as the glue and a piping bag to make it easier. I just follow the recipe on the back of a royal icing packet making sure it is thick but still pipeable.
I glue the front panel on first and set a can either side to keep it standing, then basically you need to glue each piece on, one at a time stopping when you have the four walls glued together. Allow this section to dry before adding the roof. The best bit is you can now decorate to your hearts content, with whatever sweets you want. I kept mine rather simple but I did water down the icing and cover the base with it and cover with dessicated coconut to create a snowfall effect.