A lot of times, I am inspired by questions from consumers. “Can we do this with the cookie dough?” “Can we do that with the crescent rolls?” My favorite questions have come recently in this holiday season. A few have asked if you can roll out our cookie dough – specifically, our gingerbread dough to make gingerbread people. And, this I know is totally doable. I do it at Easter and Valentine’s Day – rolling out cookie dough and using cookie cutters to make something groovy and holiday specific. So yes! Make a gingerbread family indeed.
A more challenging question came right after these – can I make a gingerbread house from the dough? My immediate response is YES! But since I’ve never made a gingerbread house from our dough, I couldn’t totally vouch for it. I asked around the office and no one else had done it either. Our resident baker-queen assured me it could be done, so off I went, armed with our limited edition gingerbread dough (2 packs).
Let me be up front. I have never made a gingerbread house. I’ve decorated them, admired them, eaten them, but made? Nope. Never. I looked around on the web and there are tons of templates out there. You can make Victorian, gabled gingerbread houses. I tried something simpler, but you know your own level of craftiness.
Oven preheating to 350 – I took the dough from one package, floured up the kitchen table and rolled the dough into a ball. Then I started measuring and cutting – ¼ inch thick, 6-8 inches for the sides. After a few disastrous cracks and laughing, they made it into the oven. Done. Let me just say, thes were the best pieces. Maybe I got lazy, bored, cocky, but I did the front and back piece, and even cut a window and door out. I did two roof pieces, and a base for everything to sit on.
Note: I used lots of flour, parchment paper, silicone slip pats, knives, rulers, bad language, and more patience than I have.
I let the goodies cool and harden overnight.
I had dreams about how I would put everything together. In my first dream, I imagined it like the house of cards game. Then I thought about toothpicks, sewing the sides together and back to the house of cards. I tried that first when I woke up. It had the same result as the card trick. I tried toothpicks – uh uh. Finally, I enlisted an engineer friend who used canned frosting and gussets to put the house together. I think he did a great job, but it fell apart before we could decorate. The point of this? You can easily make a gingerbread house using our all natural gingerbread dough. But if you are construction challenged or have never made a gingerbread house before, out amazing dough will not suddenly enable you to construct such a structure. Call some friends, adhere to a template, have a blast.
I did, and when it all collapsed in the earthquake on my kitchen table, we ate it just the same!
Look at our next blog for how the baker-queen surprised me.