Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gingerbread Houses: Part I


I spent the last six hours making six little gingerbread houses. (Hey, that's easy math!) I did it all from scratch. I created a pattern out of cardstock, made the dough (four batches), and rolled and cut and trimmed and baked and trimmed some more.

By the time I was getting toward the end of the baking, I was able to start assembling the first houses. They are very, very simple - a little shorter in length and taller in height than the pre-made houses you get in those kits at the craft store. They are quite tasty and super cute. I'm making these for a class I am teaching tomorrow. After the kids get to them, I'm sure they will be a million times cuter.

It's a lot of work, making a little town of gingerbread houses.

I had to make the dough and chill it. I rolled the dough directly onto cookie sheets, traced my templates, cut everything out, and then had to put the cookie sheet in the fridge again for 10 minutes before putting it into the oven. (Helps prevent spreading.) And between each cookie sheet use, I had to cool them down with cold water, because I couldn't roll dough onto a warm sheet - too sticky.

I could only bake one sheet at a time, because when I tried two it was too uneven (yes, I rotated - didn't matter). It took two sheets per house, and baking time was 12 minutes. That's nearly two and a half hours of solid baking time, so factoring in the dough making, cleaning, cookie sheet cooling, dough chilling... the six hours makes sense. It just made for a very long night.

Tomorrow is going to be busy, busy. I'm still trying to figure out how to transport all of the houses to the class. There should be at least one gingerbread house update - with plenty of pictures. Here's to hoping, anyway!

Now, however, it's time for some sleep.

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