I have been the world’s worst Procrastinator these days. Sorry, the Artisan Gingerbread House was supposed to be a 3-part series, and I have been putting it off lately. It is something I really do enjoy doing, and just haven’t been into it. The gist of it is to now get it put together and decorate the house or houses as I have two, to get completed. Oh, by the way, the small pieces make great dog biscuits, Duke has been loving them. As I see nothing in them that could harm him, he’s been getting a piece or two here and there.
The gingerbread pieces are put together with Royal Icing. If you are not familiar with it, it is simply a very thick icing made of this:
2 egg whites
2 cups powdered sugar, not sifted
water , put in a drop or two at a time
2 pinches cream of tartar
You will need probably a few batches…or more.
I put these ingredients into a plastic bowl that has a matching lid, so it will keep and not dry out. Mix together with a fork until you get a very thick paste. You will need to place your sides to your house on this, use a thick amount along the base and sides. Be generous. At this point, I let mine stand overnight to dry before I put the roof on. Remember what I said: Icing will cover a multitude of sins. If there are any cracks or breakage, it can be fixed with royal icing. I have heard of chef’s fixing cracks in walls with this stuff.
Once you have your roof attached, Go Town! Use all the small pieces of gingerbread you made for fences and detail. You will find detail the best part, because with every little piece of meringue and drip of royal icing come a beautiful little catchy detail of your gingerbread house.
I have not nearly finished mine yet. I can go days adding little facets to add more depth and character to my houses. But as you can see, I have a good start. At this point you can add color or edible luster or powdered sugar or sifted cocoa. I like to add a little sparkle. I really should start these things in November… I love Christmas with all the pretty things but, let me tell you, quite honestly, when its all over, I breathe a sigh of relief when everything goes back into the boxes for next year. My gingerbread houses take up most of the space on my counters. Christmas is all around me right now! So after Christmas this year, I will do the Christmas Cleanse and go back to having everything very simple and Zen-like, not sparse but meaningful and useful.
Enjoy your Holidays with the trappings of Christmas all around!! And I will, too.