A beautiful classic that can’t be left out: the Christmas Gingerbread House! While enjoying a nice cup of tea and the Christmas tunes of Jamie Cullem, the Christmas girls started a new project. For Carmen a “walk through memory lane”, for Yardéna a first time. With candy-filled bowls, a few Christmas cookies and some decorations the festivities could begin.
Neither one of us really has a baking background so we sought the help of an experienced baker and good friend, Michelle. Michelle and Yardéna met each other 20 years ago at Secondary. By now their friendship has been going on for 18 years. In those years Michelle became known as the baker of the neighbourhood. Cookies, pies and everything in between. In short, she was to perfect person too take us along in the world of Gingerbread.
The origins of Gingerbread can be traced back to the ancient Greek and Egyptians. In the early Middle Ages the herb was brought over from the Middle East and continued to grow its hold on Europe. Queen Elizabeth I from England came with the idea to make men from gingerbread. The gingerbread house itself came into the picture after the publication of Hansel and Gretel by the Brothers Grimm in Germany. Throughout the years it became a more well-known phenomenon turning it into a tradition that can no longer be missed. In North-America for example.
As we mentioned before, neither one of us is a baking princess. So our expert pre-baked gingerbread pieces with the recipe of Allerhande. All ingredients and instructions are enclosed in this link. A tip from our baker: if you replace the raw egg with eggpowder you can preserve the gingerbread house a bit longer. You can find eggpowder online for example at FunCakes. Check the link.
To make it easier to make the house, an AH baking model for gingerbread was used. You can find these on the Allerhande website of click the next link. You can also look online for enough shapes and sizes.
In order to put the house together homemade caramel was used. What a job. You have to work quickly while making sure you aren’t covered from head to toe by the time you are done! We can’t say we completely accomplished that goal but it was very fun to do. Add a bit of music and you quickly have your own party.
For the icing we used a recipe by Laura’s Bakery for Royal Icing. Is there anything more fun than happily decorating and making shapes while using a pastry bag? Fun! We enjoyed it immensly. It is one of the reasons why making a gingerbread house has become more of a tradition.
A thing is sure, decorating a gingerbread house is the ultimate Christmas activity for the whole family. Enjoy decorating together while listening to your favourite Christmas songs and zipping some tea or hot chocolate with marshmellows.
This was our first attempt. Next year we might try it again by baking everything from scratch.
What is your favourite Christmas activity for with the whole family? Let us know in the comments or on our socials.
Stay tuned for more,
The Christmas Girls