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Gingerbread House

Posted by tinako on December 3, 2010

Every year we make a gingerbread house.  Until this year we have made it from non-vegan kits we got as gifts, but with my daughter newly vegan we needed to do something else.

So I bought this Kitchen Supply gingerbread house mold.  It is one piece of cast aluminum (photo is showing both sides at once) with all the molds for a brick or gingerbread house.  The directions included an accidentally vegan gingerbread recipe in the right amount to make one house, so I followed that, slightly adapted below.

Gingerbread for one house (this is probably not the best recipe for tender roll-out cookies – it is quite hard dough)

Mix in your stand mixer:

  • 1/2 c shortening
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c molasses
  • 2 T water
  • 1 t ginger
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t allspice
  • 2-1/2 c flour

Gradually add:

  • up to 1 more c flour (if it goes crumb-y and won’t hold together, just knead it by hand)

Then there are a few options on how to mold the pieces, but I just used a rolling pin to squash the dough into the mold.  This part is hard for kids.   After rolling it in, it released easily and I baked the pieces on a cookie sheet, 20 min at 350.  The little people were overcooked at 20 min but are fine to look at.

The provided Royal Icing glue recipe was not vegan, so I looked one up and found this page (which also refers to another page, so there are plenty of tips out there).  I wish wish wish vegans would be more specific about what egg replacer would work best in recipes.  I mean, it could be anything from tofu or applesauce to ground flax seed – give us a hint.  I decided to go with Ener-G, but was cluelessly left to wonder whether to add the water as well.  Given that the non-vegan recipe on the referenced page included egg whites which would add liquid, and given that the otherwise less than 2 T of liquid did not look up to the job of absorbing 3 c of sugar, I decided I should add water – that might have been a mistake, since I had to add 66% more sugar than called for, but everything turned out well.  Here is what I did:

Whip in a medium bowl with a hand mixer:

Add gradually and beat very well, several minutes:

  • 5 c powdered sugar *

[* Note from 2011 – go ahead a reduce the water, maybe 3-4 T, and add just enough powdered sugar to make the consistency you would like, and which you can also alter as you work along on the house.  You may like it thinner while coating the walls and roof, and thicker while gluing things.  And you can always make more icing if you run out.  I bet you could replace the soy milk with water.]

I’m not actually sure you need to beat it several minutes, but that is what I did.  I also let it rest a bit – it gets stiffer as time passes, but covered when not in use, it stayed easily workable for hours.  It is an odd gloopy glue, but it worked well for our purposes – kids having fun, not a “house beautiful” contest.

Next we began assembly.  My son covered a piece of cardboard with a piece of paper.  Then the kids used a basting brush to paint icing onto the outer surfaces of the walls.  We’ve found in the past that we like how that looks, and it also tastes better.  Then we dipped the side and bottom edges into the icing and stuck them together.  We used a thin rubberband to hold them in place (just cut it off when you’re done with it) and left them alone for about 20 minutes.  Then we stuck on the chimney and the roofs, using stacked cereal bowls to easily hold the roofs in place.  This whole process was simple and tears-free, our first time without a kit’s cardboard house frame to build on.  We let this sit while we went out to buy candy.

We found lots of vegan candy in the bulk section, green and red gumdrops, wafer cookies, red licorice, gummies made with pectin, and beautiful little hard candies (right foreground of photo).  The kids had fun using their imaginations to think how they could use them, and they were easy to apply with the icing.  Our cat was very interested in this, and a moment after this picture was taken, she reached up to snag a wafer cookie.

Here is the finished masterpiece.  We ended up using all but about about 1/2 c of the icing.

I didn’t feel like it, but you could also make a frosting in several colors to pipe on designs like doors and windows.


2 Responses to “Gingerbread House”

  1. […] then later he had chopped veggies and fruit, nuts, and chips and salsa.  I added Hummus and our Gingerbread House.  It was […]

  2. […] to the Gingerbread.  My page from last year has all the details.  I had made the cookies Sunday but my son has been hacking up a lung all week […]

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