Friday, December 21, 2012

Mini Gingerbread Houses for Your Mug

Is Christmas time always this exhausting or am I just getting old?

I worked (teaching preschool) for a full day, then spent an hour and a half finishing off some Christmas shopping and I felt like I should be awarded a medal of honour!

I neeearly poured a glass of wine to congratulate myself but chose juice instead to save the calories for Christmas day wine consumption.

Mini Gingerbread Houses for your Mug


As much as I love the silly season I'm beginning to see why others don't.

It is pretty tiring. In fact, I'll admit that I had a mini melt down in the middle of the mall today while shopping with Mr S for his Christmas present, I actually said "I hate Christmas!" ...okay it was more like this "I HATE CHRISTMAS!!!" then followed up with "I finally admit it, I hate Christmas just like everyone else."

Now that I'm cool, calm and collected (and have my feet up) I can tell you that I do not in fact, hate Christmas, Christmas just hates me this year.

I know I have put myself under too much pressure and tried to do everything. Next year I think I'll try and take it easy.

Mini Gingerbread Houses for your MugMini Gingerbread Houses for your Mug
Mini Gingerbread Houses for your Mug

Even though this years Christmas has raised my blood pressure and probably aged me more than any other, I have enjoyed all the baking I managed to get in.

The latest baking gift I made are these adorable little gingerbread houses that sit on your coffee cup, ready to be dunked in and enjoyed with a nice cup of hot chocolate.

I found out about these cute creations last Christmas when Pinterest was still new to me and have been wanting to make them ever since.

Mini Gingerbread Houses for your MugMini Gingerbread Houses for your Mug
Mini Gingerbread Houses for your Mug

I am so grateful for Megan at Not Martha for her extensive research she put in before blogging about her creations. From all of her notes I was able to make the mini gingerbread houses knowing exactly how to go about it.

I kept reading in the comments on her blog post people saying "gosh that's a lot of work to put in but well worth it" and I'm thinking, psssht, it doesn't look like that much work...famous last words. These bad boys take up a lot of time but yes, I do think they are worth it.

Mini Gingerbread Houses for your MugMini Gingerbread Houses for your Mug
Mini Gingerbread Houses for your Mug

If you would like to make these sweet little gingerbread houses I suggest checking out Martha Stewart's gingerbread recipe (or use your own favourite recipe) and be sure to give Not Martha's blog post a good read to find out how to bake them properly (it's trickier than it sounds!) here is my run down:

How to make mini gingerbread houses

You will need:
Gingerbread dough
Paper templates of the mini houses (can be found at Not Martha's)
Baking trays, lined with baking paper
Sharp knife
Royal icing
Piping bag and tips #1 and #2
Decorations (optional)
  • Prepare cookie dough as recipe suggests and make sure it is very chilled.
  • Preheat oven.
  • Roll out a third of the dough mixture onto a foil or baking paper sheet nice and thin (1/8th of an inch if you want to be exact).
  • Cut out the pieces of your gingerbread house and cut away the excess (instead of moving the pieces) this makes sure that the house pieces will stay in shape.
  • Pop the foil or baking paper sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Bake the gingerbread, keep an eye on it and take them out when they are just starting to brown.
  • While one batch is baking cut up another and put in the freezer. I managed to get 2-3 houses on each tray.
  • Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the tray then peel them off and let cool on a rack.

Mini Gingerbread Houses for your MugMini Gingerbread Houses for your Mug

How to assemble mini gingerbread houses:
  • Prepare royal icing (I always use this recipe)
  • Once cookies are completely cool get each house ready in front of you with two of each piece.
  • Fill piping bag with royal icing fitted with a #2 tip or small round tip.
  • Pipe two lines on the outer edges of the door pieces.
  • Attach walls to one door piece and let it stand.
  • Attach the other door piece to the walls and let it sit for about 2 minutes or until it is reasonably stable.
  • Pipe two lines along the roof top and attach the two roof pieces.
  • Make sure to work fast when working with royal icing or it will set and try to hold pieces in place for a few seconds before letting go.
  • Once the house is put together you can go crazy with the decorating.

Mini Gingerbread Houses for your MugMini Gingerbread Houses for your MugMini Gingerbread Houses for your Mug

To coat with crushed candy canes:
  • Refrigerate or freeze candy canes until they are chilled.
  • Pulverize them in a blender or food processor until they resemble rough crumbs.
  • Pipe an outline of royal icing on the roof of the gingerbread house.
  • Spread royal icing with a knife over the entire roof, making sure to spread it to the edges.
  • Dip houses in a bowl full of candy cane crumbs, pressing down firmly.
  • If there are missed spots sprinkle some candy cane crumbs on and press down.
  • The candy cane crumbs will stick together when they are not chilled so in between dunking houses put the crumbs in the fridge to keep them cool.

Mini Gingerbread HouseMini Gingerbread Houses for your Mug

I am submitting this recipe/tutorial for December's Sweet New Zealand (which I'm hosting whoopee!) Sweet New Zealand is a monthly blogging event where Kiwi food bloggers share their sweet recipes. It's lots of fun so do check it out if you're keen to get involved!


9 comments :

  1. So cute! I love the pink stars on the roof!

    Have a lovely Christmas

    Charlotte x

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Charlotte! Yes the pink ones were one of my favourites (although they took a while to stick on!) Merry Christmas Charlotte!

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  2. These are amazing! And you're right, when you explain it like this, it sounds easy but I'm sure it's not!

    Keen to try these next year! :)

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    Replies
    1. They're not hard, per say, just really really time consuming...but totally worth it! Haha! I made just enough for everyone in my family, plus a couple to spare. I think that's the way to go!
      Merry Christmas!

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  3. These look beautiful. I tried to make my own this year, but was in a hurry and they didn't turn out... Pinned this so that I can try for next year...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thank you so much! They are so time consuming, I think I set aside a couple of hours to do them and they pretty much took me a whole day! Eek! Do try next year, I would love to see photos when you do!

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you Alessandra, you are too kind!

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  5. Hi, silly question, but the clear plastic wrap in the last photo- what is it called and where do you buy it? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete