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Gingerbread Chalet

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  • Yields

    1 gingerbread chalet

  • Ease of preparation

    Complex

Ingredients

Gingerbread

  • 1 cup (240 ml) sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) molasses
  • 4 teaspoons (20 ml) ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) ground fresh ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 7 cups (1.7 l) flour

Royal icing

  • 4 cups (960 ml) icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) meringue powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) vanilla
  • ½ cup (120 ml) water

Special equipment

  • Bear shape cookie cutter
  • Deer shape cookie cutter
  • Piping bag fitted with small tip
  • Piping bag with large tip

Directions

To make gingerbread

  1. Add sugar, brown sugar, molasses, ground ginger, ground allspice, ground cloves, ground black pepper, and fresh ginger to a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring.
  2. Remove from heat and carefully pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Turn mixer to low speed and add baking soda and salt, mixing until ingredients are frothy and combined – about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Gradually add butter. Add egg and continue mixing until combined. Gradually add flour. When dough comes together in a ball, turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
  4. Knead dough a few times and separate into 2 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball, then shape into a disk. Cover one disk with plastic wrap and set aside.
  5. Using a rolling pin, roll the uncovered portion of dough between two sheets of parchment paper to roughly 1/4-inch (6 mm) thickness.
  6. To make a tall A-frame house, cut:
    1. 2 extra-large triangles: each with two sides 11-inches tall (18 cm) and the bottom 8-inches (20 cm) long (these triangles will be the front and the back of the house).
    2. 2 extra-large rectangles: each 7-inches x 11-inches (18 x 28 cm) (these will be the sides of the house).
    3. 2 small rectangles: each 1-inch x 3-inches (2.5 x 7.5 cm) (these will be the front and the floor of the balcony).
    4. 2 small squares: each 1-inch x 1-inch (2.5 cm x 2.5 cm) (these will be the sides of the balcony).
    5. 5-7 triangles of varying sizes (these will be evergreen trees).
    6. 2-3 small bears and deer using cookie cutters.
  7. With the 2 extra-large triangles:
    1. Out of 1 triangle, cut out a rounded front door, 3-inches (7.5 cm) in height. Reserve the door.
    2. With the same triangle, cut a small, 2-inch (5 cm) high rounded balcony door, 2 1/2-inches (6 cm) above the front door.
    3. With the 2nd triangle, cut out a circle-shaped window in centre.
  8. Carefully place dough pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes at 325 F (160 C) or until lightly coloured and crisp.
  9. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks.

To make royal icing

  1. Add icing sugar, meringue powder, cream of tartar, vanilla, and water to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip with a paddle for 10 minutes or until icing is thick and glossy.
  2. Add half of the icing to a piping bag fitted with a small tip. Cover the remaining icing with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

To finish

  1. Using the royal icing, decorate the front of the chalet.
  2. Make the balcony by gluing 1 small square to the short edge of 1 small rectangle. Glue the second small square to the other short edge of the rectangle. Glue the second small rectangle to the long edge of the first small rectangle and the bottoms of the small squares. Then glue the remaining long edge of the small rectangle to the front of the chalet just underneath the balcony door to finish the balcony. Decorate balcony to hide seams.
  3. Decorate the rest of the pieces. Let rest so royal icing can dry and harden completely.
  4. Stand the front of the house upright on your board and use a jar or container to prop in place.
  5. Pipe royal icing along one side. Use it to glue one of the roof panels to the house, leaning it on the jar or container to support. Pipe royal icing along the seam to reinforce and hide seam. Let rest for royal icing to dry and harden completely.
  6. Pipe royal icing along the remaining side of the roof. Use it to the glue on the back of the house. Let rest for royal icing to dry and harden completely.
  7. Remove jar or container. Glue the second roof panel onto the house using royal icing.
  8. Attach the front door of the house using royal icing.
  9. Add some reserved royal icing to a piping bag with a large tip. Pipe a thick layer of royal icing back and forth along the peak of the roof to reinforce the roof.
  10. Use a smear of icing from the large tip to attach trees and animals to the board. Let rest for royal icing to dry and harden completely.
  11. Dust with icing sugar for snow.
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