Ann Reardon

Gingerbread House 2018

gingerbread house ideas ann reardon

Many years ago I saw a picture of an adorable gingerbread scene, it looked so beautiful that I wanted to recreate it. Finding the original was tricky and when I finally tracked down the low res picture from 2010 the only information on the creator was a first name and location, Mary E from Timonium, Maryland. Despite hunting online for more info about her there was simply not enough to go on. If you know Mary and she has social media let me know the links in the comments below. I’ve changed the it up a bit, using lots of chocolate instead of just fondant and royal icing but wanted to give credit where it is due, thanks Mary for the inspiration.

 

To make this gingerbread house you will need:

Gingerbread House Template

 

Gingerbread dough recipe
Make 1 1/2 batches of this recipe. Note my bowl is 4.8L (1.27 gallons) and one batch fills it so unless you have a bigger bowl you will need to make it in batches.
430g (15.17 ounces) or 1 3/4 cups plus 3 Tbsp butter, roughly chopped
430g (15.17 ounces) or 2 cups caster (super fine) sugar
250g (8.82 ounces) or 2/3 cup plus 2 tsp glucose syrup
260g (9.17 ounces) or 3/4 cup molasses
180 millilitres (6.09 fluid ounces) or 2/3 cup plus 1 tbsp milk (4%)
1195g (42.15 ounces) or 7 1/2 cups plain flour
12g (0.42 ounces) or 2 tsp bicarb soda
20g (0.71 ounces) or 3 Tbsp cinnamon
12g (0.42 ounces) or 2 Tbsp ground cloves
12g (0.42 ounces) or 2 Tbsp ground ginger

Roll out and cut out the dough around the templates. Leave a border of dough around the outside while baking, this stops the edges from cooking too quickly and burning before the centre is cooked and also keeps them flat.

gingerbread house template

For some of the smaller pieces you may want the edges rounded instead of flat so in that case do not leave a border. For example I had no border while baking for to stool parts, the front of the stair treads and the front and sides of the fireplace mantle.

how to make a gingerbread house

I rolled the gingerbread for the large pieces about 1cm (0.39 inches) thick but the finer parts like the stairs were thinner (see photo below).
how to cook that gingerbread

Half way through cooking remove from the oven and redo the cuts, then bake again. It is very important that the big pieces are baked until they are firm. If once cooled they are still soft in the centre, flip them over and bake again for another 5-10 minutes.

how to make a gingerbread house

Other equipment that you may need:

brick texture mat for the fireplace, note the ash is shaved white and black coloured chocolate mixed together and chopped.
gingerbread house fireplace
Any pattern texture mat that you like for the wallpaper
gingerbread house how to cook that
Ingredients for decoration:
500g (17.64 ounces) white chocolate for the wall paper
white chocolate coloured with oil based food colouring for the outside of the clock and fireplace
how to make a gingerbread house
coloured royal icing for piped details
coloured cachous icing pearls on the tree an mantle
300g (10.58 ounces) dark chocolate for the wooden floor

Fondant for the nativity, paintings, presents (some of these I hid lollies inside), red and green strips around the outside of the room, nativity figures and Santas cookies/ plate and cup.
gingerbread nativity
gingerbread house ideas ann reardon

gingerbread house ann reardon

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

I have been busy over the last year planning, writing and overseeing the photography and layout for my first ever cookbook! There are heaps of my favourite dessert recipes in there with a chapter on pastries, ice-cream, yummy cakes, artistic desserts and of course chocolate desserts. Each chapter has its own intro explaining the food science that you'll need to know for success every time. Booksellers where you can pre-order your very own copy: http://bit.ly/ARcookbook


All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

21 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 5

    Hello. Is there any other replacement for glucose syrup apart from corn syrup? And can I use honey insted of molasses?

  2. Rating: 5

    We’re celebrating Christmas in July since we didn’t have an opportunity to make our (3rd year in a row) gingerbread house. We love your gingerbread houses, but this year was a doozy to make! Please bring back your amazing commentary — we really struggled without it. In the end we got creative (you might notice the Curly Wurly in lieu of the bannister, which we just couldn’t get right, and the grandfather clock became two Cherry Ripes that we glued together with chocolate). Looking forward to trying 2019’s recipe!

    • Ann

      Looks awesome Courtney ??? I love how you adapted it to make it work for you

  3. How long did it take you to make?

  4. Rating: 5

    My big sister has the same stand-up kitchen-aid mixer and it is red! I love the nativity scene on the mantel. I don’t decorate cakes or cookies I embroider, but my older sister loves to bake and decorate cakes and cookies.

  5. Is the butter soft or cold and is it salted?

  6. Rating: 5

    Wow Wow and Wow!!!
    The time you have even exceeded all your other creations. Amazing.
    Thanks for including the nativity.
    Can’t wait to start. Ordering now.

    • Admin HowToCookThat

      Thanks Barbara.

  7. How hot should the oven be and how long should it stay in the oven? The recipe doesn’t say in neither the written instructions or the video.

    • Admin HowToCookThat

      Hi Hayley, Ann yses a moderate oven unless otherwise stated. A moderate oven is approx. 160-180C Fan forced. My oven runs hot so I would stick to 160C for most recipes. Ann generally does not provide exact cooking times as it will vary depending on your oven and the depth of the mix that you are cooking. She prefers that you test the bread to see if it is cooked through. Generally I would say it takes about 15mins but keep an eye on it. Thinner pieces cook quickly and thicker slabs may need longer.

  8. Rating: 5

    This house is amazing! I joined today because I saw Ann’s gingerbread houses. My family is excited to make this year’s showpiece!!!

    • Admin HowToCookThat

      That is awesome Kathy. Welcome to the family!!

  9. Rating: 5

    That nativity set is the cutest thing! I’m literally squealing on the inside. I can imagine the precision and patience needed to make something so small. Also, like Sonja asked, did you use melted chocolate to join the walls and such together? I much prefer chocolate to icing and am wondering if chocolate is a strong enough substitute for royal icing.

    • Admin HowToCookThat

      Hi Monica, You can use chocolate, but obviously it is a less stable than the icing mix, so more patience and quicker eating is required.

  10. Rating: 5

    Hello again!
    Did you stick the big pieces together with royal icing or chocolate and does it matter which is used?
    Thanks, the first of the big pieces is in the oven. My first ever attempt at a gingerbread house/ Xmas scene!!!
    Kind Regards

    Sonja

    • Admin HowToCookThat

      Hi Sonja, Traditionally You use the icing. However I have used choclate at times.

      • Rating: 5

        Thanks! I used royal icing in the end as I’m not great with chocolate!!!
        Anyway, here’s my finished creation that I’m raffling off. Not as detailed as yours, but I’m pleased with my first ever gingerbread ‘house’.
        Thank you so much for the inspiration and help.
        Sonja Vigneswaren

  11. Rating: 5

    This is so sweet! What is the light blue thing on top of the grandfather clock?

    Thanks!

    • Admin HowToCookThat

      Hi Janna, It is the top of the clock, made from gingerbread and icing.

  12. Rating: 5

    Just inspired
    Thank you
    Happy Christmas

    • Admin HowToCookThat

      Merry Christmas to you too Jan!

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