Although I have experience in pasting cakes and cookies decorations with royal icing, I decided to try something new, and used a caramel syrup to glue the house instead. It was a total failure. The gingerbread house parts stuck together well and fast, but the next day the caramel began to melt. Maybe it happened because the climate where I live is very humid or because I had to use a little more sugar and let it cook for less time. Experienced learned, next time I'll stick with the ideal glue for these projects ... ROYAL ICING!
The recipes I used were the Gingerbread Cookies and Royal Icing. I do recommend both of them.
In case you're interested in the caramel syrup recipe that I used, (but I do not recommend it): 1 ⅓ cup sugar and ½ cup water. Boil until it thickens and begins to take a light caramel color (about 15 minutes). Note: After the fire is turned of, the caramel continues to get darker in color so do not let it turn too dark before removing from the fire. I did not know this and my caramel came out to dark. It also cools quickly, so you must build the house as quickly as possible.
Tips to make your gingerbread house either this year or next year. Do not doubt...it is super fun to make one!
1. Follow the procedure of the gingerbread cookies, but in step number six to leave the extended dough in the refrigerator for an hour or more before cutting.
2. Cut all piece that form the house. You can find the templates I used, HERE. After having the pieces cut, place gingerbread cookies on a cookie sheet (I very lightly grease it with bakers grease) and return to the refrigerator to chill, ideally for at least 15 minutes until you are ready to bake them. This will help the cookies retain their shapes a bit better.
3. Preheat oven to 375 º F (190 º C) and bake for an appropriate time depending on the size of the pieces.
4. Right after removing the cookies from the oven, while they are still warm, lay the cookie cutter molds or paper templates on top and with a sharp knife cut away any changes in size that could have taken place while baking.
5. Cool completely before assembling. To glue the pieces I recommend using royal icing.
Place enough icing to stick together. In these picture you see the pieces put together with the caramel syrup, but I decided to reinforced with icing when I saw the mess the caramel made. You could tint the icing you'll use as glue a lite brown color if you prefer.
The windows of course had to be hearts I am in love all year round with hubby : ) You may cut the windows and door with cookie cutters or knife before you bake.
I kept the design pretty simple, but I loved it. After everything is in placed and all decorations are piped with a decorating sleeve, sprinkle powdered sugar on roof top and all around to make it look like snow.
En español: AQUI
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