You know the recipe I promised? Here it is. And as you will see, it isn’t exactly a typical gingerbread recipe. Ok, ok, it hardly has anything to do with a typical gingerbread recipe. This is even BETTER! Seriously, your whole kitchen, in fact your whole house will smell like you’ll want to eat it!
The ginger-less gingerbread recipe
340g icing sugar
2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of baking cocoa
50g butter (room temperature)
4 tablespoons of runny honey
It’s very simple really.
Preheat the oven to 160C. Line your baking trays with baking paper.
Put everything in a bowl and start mixing it together with your hands. It will take a little while before it forms a firm dough. If it doesn’t want to stick together, either put another egg in the mixture or a bit more honey.
Rest it overnight.
On a lightly floured area, roll the dough out to about 3mm (any thicker and the houses won’t look too nice). This is when you’ll want to put your drawn-up or printed-out stencils on the top to cut around. Dotting around the stencils is way too fiddly. I say, go with the knife! Cut, cut, cut. Don’t forget to do the base that you’ll stick your house and extras on or the windows, the chimneys, the fence, the Christmas trees, etc, etc. or anything else you want to put around your house, or in your village.
Then make up a mixture of 1 egg yolk+1 tablespoon sour cream and with a brush thinly paint it on the top of the rolled out and cut out pieces. This will give them a nice shine.
Pop them on the tray then in the oven. They really don’t take much to bake, so take care! This is not a set time, just an estimate as everyone’s oven is different and you might roll your pieces thicker or thinner, but try about 8-9 minutes. You’ll know it’s done, when the colour is light golden brown.
By now your whole house will smell of beautiful honey. Soooo Christmassy!
So, once your timer beeped and you’re satisfied with the colour, take out the house bits and let them totally cool. If they’re not cold, they will melt your sugar-glue you’ll stick your house together with.
There are two kinds of glues we used.
Separate an egg and to the whites, start adding icing sugar and mix continuously until the mixture doesn’t run off your wooden spoon. Put the mixture in either a plastic bag, or make one up from paper (snip the end off and close the top so the mixture can’t run out up top).
In a saucepan put 4 tablespoons of white sugar. Start heating it on lowish heat, until the sugar becomes liquid, has honey-brown colouring and is completely smooth.
You’ll have to work quicker with this because it sets quicker than the simple glue. AND you’ll have to be EXTRA CAREFUL because it will be very very very hot!! Please take extra care that you don’t drip any of the liquid sugar on your skin.
This glue is ideal when making something as big as my church, because it holds much much better than the icing sugar mixture.
However! If you live in a high humidity area, skip this, because it will melt and run down on your house.
So, with your chosen glue, stick your houses together, and with the icing sugar mixture, decorate your houses. Buy a whole lot of Smarties, and chocolate buttons, etc etc to stick on and make it all pretty and colourful.
You can make all sorts of things, like the pictured jewellery box we made. Fill it with tiny honey-bread Christmas trees decorated with hundreds and thousands.
Veronika and her mum Csilla (who’s recipe this actually is!)