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  Added: Apr 07, 2006  •  Visited (1166)  •  Print version Print this recipe (64)  •  eMail recipe eMail recipe (1)  •  Write review  •  Not rated Rate this recipe
 
Gingerbread House
(Lebkuchen Hauschen)
What You Need:
GINGERBREAD
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 6 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons double-acting baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk

    DECORATION
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • Candies and cookies for decorating the house
  • 1 to 2 cups sugar for decorating the base

  • How To Cook:
    1. NOTE: This recipe makes enough dough for one 11-by-17-inch gingerbread cake. You will need three of these cakes to make the house. You may bake the cakes in three batches (they become firmer and easier to handle as they age, so it is possible to do the baking over a period of several days as long as you cut them as soon as they are baked). Or you may double or triple this recipe and make the cakes in one or two batches; in that event, you will need a very large mixing bowl and extra pans. The icing recipe is intended to make enough for the whole house, but generous decorations may require more. Cut out the cardboard templates for the house and its base. Set them aside.

    2. With a pastry brush or paper towel, lightly coat an ll-by-17-inch jelly-roll pan with 1 tablespoon of soft butter. Sprinkle ¼ cup of flour into the pan, and tip it from side to side to coat it evenly. Then turn it over and knock out the excess. Set the pan aside.

    3. Sift 6 cups of flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom and salt together into a large mixing bowl and set them aside.

    4. Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a heavy 4- to 5-quart saucepan, bring the honey, sugar and butter to a boil over high heat, stirring with a large spoon until the sugar is dissolved and the butter melted. Remove the pan from the heat, mix in the lemon juice and lemon peel, and cool to room temperature.

    5. Beat in 2 cups of the flour-and-spice mixture, add the egg and egg yolk, and then beat in the remaining 4 cups of flour-and-spice mixture. Flour your hands lightly and knead until the dough is smooth, pliable and still slightly sticky. If it is too moist to handle, beat in more flour by the tablespoon.

    6. Place the dough in the jelly-roll pan, and with a lightly floured pin, press and roll it out as evenly as possible, forcing it into the corners with your fingers. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the cake is firm and the top brown.

    7. Let the cake cool in the pan for 4 or 5 minutes, then using the templates as your guide, cut it into the requisite shapes with a pastry wheel or small knife. Do not be tempted to cut the house pieces freehand; they must fit together preprecisely to make a stable structure. Set the pieces aside on wax paper until they cool completely. Bake and cut the remaining cakes in the same fashion.

    9. DECORATION: In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with a whisk or a rotary or electric beater until they are frothy and slightly thickened. Sift the confectioners' sugar into the whites ½ cup at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Continue to beat for about 5 minutes, or until a stiff icing is formed. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round decorative tip with a cup of the icing. While the pieces of gingerbread are still spread out flat, decorate the front, back and sides of the house with windows, shutters, doors and the like to approximate the gingerbread house shown on the cover, or to suit your own fancy. When the icing is completely dry, assemble the base and walls of the house, using the icing as cement to hold the pieces together. Let the walls stand undisturbed until the icing is completely set. With the remaining icing, cement the roof and chimney pieces in place, and after the icing is set, decorate the roof and chimney. Make more icing if necessary. For more elaborate decoration, coat candies and cookies on one side with the icing and press them gently onto the walls and roof. As a final touch, sift a snowlike coating of sugar over the base.
     
    One 11-by-17-inch gingerbread cake.
     This recipe is also available in:
    Cuisine » Europe » Germany
    Main Ingredient » Grains & Cereals » Flour
    Main Ingredient » Condiments » Honey
    Main Ingredient » Dairy » Butter
    Dish » Bread

     





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