As a child, I, like many others was always fascinated with the witches house in Hansel and Gretel. I mean who will not fancy a house made of Gingerbread and cakes with candies and chocolate all over. Having never tasted a Gingerbread cookie and a long hidden desire to put my hands on a gingerbread house, made me decide to try these adorable mini Gingerbread houses. These can perch on your mugs and look very cute.
I added my own touch to these cookies by adding Nolen gur in the dough instead of normal jaggery. Not being a big fan of ginger myself, these cookies are not overpowering with the ginger taste (as I always thought). In fact, the spices along with jaggery and honey gives it a very unique flavour.
Ideally the Gingerbread house calls for the use of Royal icing to join the pieces together. Having my own constraint of not wanting to use raw egg whites, I decide to try a basic icing where icing sugar is diluted to required consistency with some lemon juice and/or milk. The Gingerbread house required heaps of patience as the pieces were so fragile while joining and would fall apart. I had to join them again and again and finally said a short prayer and left them to dry. Thankfully they held themselves together finally.
I also made some Gingerbread men with the leftover dough and decorated them with the same icing.
Recipe source : Adapted from Taste.com.au
Ingredients : For 5 Mini gingerbread houses and 15 Gingerbread men
- 50 gm butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup jaggery, grated(I used Nolen gur)
- 1/2 egg(Beat one egg in a bowl and use half quantity)
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tbsp ginger powder(I used saunth-dry ginger powder)
- 1/4 tbsp cinnamon powder
- 6-7 cloves, dry roasted and powdered
- 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
- 8-10 black pepper, ground
- 1 cardamom, powdered
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 5-6 tbsp icing sugar
- few drops of lemon juice
- little milk for diluting
Take jaggery and butter in a bowl and beat till pale and creamy.
Mix in honey and egg.
Sift flour, ginger powder, all spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the bowl.
Knead dough using hands till it comes together smooth and soft.
Wrap in a plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius.
Roll out dough 1/4 " thick and cut out desired shapes form it.
I used my Gingerbread man cutter and a template for the Gingerbread house.
Place on a butter paper/parchment lined baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes or till they brown well.
Allow to cool.
Mix icing sugar with few drops of lemon juice and some milk to get a thick consistency good enough for piping.
Fill a piping bag/Ziplock/plastic bag with this icing and snip off the end.
Make desired design on all the pieces.
Use some icing to stick colourful sprinkles on the cookies.
Leave to dry.
Use the same icing sugar as a glue to join pieces of the gingerbread house.
- Cut out the template on a piece of thick paper/cardboard and use it to cut out shapes from the dough.
- Keep a check on the cookies while baking to prevent overbrowning.
- You can omit the egg and use some milk for kneading the dough.
- The joining of Gingerbread house pieces require some patience and precision as the house can fall apart. After fixing the pieces let it dry completely before touching.
Sending this recipe to 'Kolkata Food Blogger's ongoing baking event 'Baking Palooza 2013
Happy Mini Gingerbread house enjoying