Saturday, December 29, 2012

We spent our Holiday Baking (my Mother's Ginger Bread House Recipe)

Throughout the holiday season our oven is turned on, the house smells like cinnamon, and cooling racks line the little counter space we have.
We baked and iced eight different kinds of cookies and piled up tins filled with dozens of holiday treats. Anyone lucky enough to stop by our house went home with a plate of goodies.

We made cardamon braids and delivered them to friends and neighbors.

We made a ginger bread house.

Last year's gingerbread house was made from a recipe I found on the internet, but the final dough was disappointing at best, and this year I wanted to use the recipe that my mom used when I was a little girl.  I can picture the green clad, almost square cook book of German Christmas baking recipes sitting on her shelf in the living room, but that book is hundreds of miles away.
I finally remembered to ask her for the recipe.

My mom emailed me the recipe.
Adam made the dough.
I cut and baked the shapes.
While Sylvan napped we glued it together and decorated it, breaking open the many (way to many) bags of candy I brought home from the store days earlier. Making a ginger bread house was on my to do list for weeks, but admittedly, it did not actually happen until the day after Christmas.

When Sylvan walked into the kitchen he squealed in delight at the colorful little house that still  adorns our kitchen table.  Little bits of it's decoration are slowly disappearing, but for now it still is a miniature winter wonderland. 

I tucked the house and tree templates I cut from a cereal box into the front of my recipe binder.
The recipe is jotted down on the back of a scrap booking paper partially over run by an Ivory art project.  I better jot down the recipe now, so I can find it next year and maybe succeed in getting the gingerbread house built before Christmas.  

Ginger Bread House

This recipe is weighed out..  all measurement are in grams.  It comes from a German cook book.  This is half of the original recipe and the spice blend is what was recommended by my mom.  The fresh baked cookies initially taste a little bland - hold off - don't eat them right away.  Let them sit for a day or two (or longer) and the ginger bread develops great flavor. 

125 g Sugar
375 g Honey
50 g Butter
563 g Flour 
125 g Almond Flour
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
1 egg
10 g baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
a dash of white pepper
  • combine the sugar, honey and butter in a sauce pan and stir over medium heat until melted
  • combine flour, almond flour, baking powder and spices in a bowl add the egg and honey mixture
  • stir and then knead by hand
  • the dough should be firm and slightly sticky, let sit for 30 minutes
  • roll out on a well floured surface and cut into the desired shapes ( we made two roof pieces, two wall pieces, two gable pieces, three trees and had plenty left over for other shapes)
  • bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes
  • let cool on a baking rack (it is better to let them sit overnight and build the house the next day)


2 egg whites
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
powdered sugar
  • whisk the egg whites until they are very foamy and white
  • add the lemon juice
  • add powdered sugar until you have a think mixture that does not run off of the spoon or whisk
  • use this to glue the house and trees together, to affix the candy and to glaze any other shapes you may have
 Happy Holiday Baking!!!  (even if it is next year) 

1 comment:

  1. and yes, all that baking was a bit much... maybe not so many cookies next year...