… and a happy new year.
This will be the last challenge in 2009 and we are looking back half satisfied with what we achieved and experienced this year and also half expecting of what 2010 will bring. The upcoming year will bring most definitely some big changes in our both lifes and it’s good to know that no matter what life will dish up, there’s always comfort food to make the day a bit brighter and the hips bigger. :)
This months challenge looked very promising and we had so many ideas of how to decorate this lovely gingerbread house, since there are endless options to play with. In the end and in the pre-Christmas stress we didn’t quite manage to meet up before the 24th though and I made the gingerbread alone. Since a house seemed a little too time consuming, I ended up making gingerbread heart and -men rather than a whole house. The recipe worked out pretty nicely and I had fun decorating the whole thing.
Now the only thing left to do is eating all those wonderful Christmas Dinners and cookies and enjoy the rest of this year.Hope you can all enjoy it as much as we do and look forward to what other Daring Baker’s Challenges the next year will bring.
The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.
Scandinavian Gingerbread (Pepparkakstuga)
from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas http://astore.amazon.com/thedarkit-20/detail/0816634963
1 cup butter, room temperature [226g]
1 cup brown sugar, well packed [220g]
2 tablespoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ cup boiling water
5 cups all-purpose flour [875g]
1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until blended. Add the cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix the baking soda with the boiling water and add to the dough along with the flour. Mix to make a stiff dough. If necessary add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Chill 2 hours or overnight.2. Cut patterns for the house, making patterns for the roof, front walls, gabled walls, chimney and door out of cardboard.3. Roll the dough out on a large, ungreased baking sheet and place the patterns on the dough. Mark off the various pieces with a knife, but leave the pieces in place.4. [I rolled out the dough on a floured bench, roughly 1/8 inch thick (which allows for fact that the dough puffs a little when baked), cut required shapes and transferred these to the baking sheet. Any scraps I saved and rerolled at the end.]5. Preheat the oven to 375'F (190'C). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the cookie dough feels firm. After baking, again place the pattern on top of the gingerbread and trim the shapes, cutting the edges with a straight-edged knife. Leave to cool on the baking sheet.
1 large egg white
3 cups (330g) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon almond extract
Beat all ingredients until smooth, adding the powdered sugar gradually to get the desired consistency. Pipe on pieces and allow to dry before assembling. If you aren't using it all at once you can keep it in a small bowl, loosely covered with a damp towel for a few hours until ready to use. You may have to beat it slightly to get it an even consistency if the top sets up a bit. Piped on the house, this will set up hard over time.also check: www.thedaringkitchen.com for other really amazing entries.