Christmas - Christmas Baking, Edible Glitter and Gingerbread House Making

December 03, 2014

Am I allowed to say that I really don't like mince pies? They symbolise Christmas in this county but I hate them. In fact I dislike pastry in general, and marzipan, citrus things, candied peel or the taste of strong alcohol; which pretty much rules out a load of things filling the shops that most people love at this time of year. No Christmas pudding for me, I'll pass on the Stollen, Pannatone is nothing special, you won't have to guard your brandy sauce etc. BUT I'm absolutely addicted to gingerbread at Christmas, and in love with Lebukchen. You will have to guard these with your life around me right now, I've already gone through a pack of chocolate covered lebukchen and made a start on a pack of 30 mini gingerbread shapes that snuck themselves onto the Sainsburys order today. And Christmas is all about chocolate too so when I pass on a mince pie, I'll make up for it in chocolate {Mum I hope you've got the annual tin of celebrations ready??}. So for the past three, or maybe four Christmases, around the second weekend of December Ben and I have baked and constructed a gingerbread house. I love baking, he loves making things so it's the perfect combination. We both also happen to love eating it afterwards. Scroll down for some Christmas baking photos from last year, recipes and the best thing of all - edible glitter!!

Making a Gingerbread House is normally a two day event. Last year we used a kit from Sainsburys which had handy templates for rolling out your dough into the right shaped pieces for the walls, door, roof etc. But if you don't have a kit, use this recipe and templates.

The night before we want to construct the house, we bake the gingerbread. It would take hours if we did everything in one go. You make the dough by adding golden syrup and water to the mix before bringing it together with a wooden spoon and then rolling out. 

With the extra dough left over, I made some cookies using Christmas shaped cutters. Angels, stars, hearts and trees. We made the house in batches, they only take 10 minutes in the oven so we'd lift the baked gingerbread onto cooling racks while the next lot went in until it was all baked.

Mmn I love gingerbread so much, it's funny how I seem to forget it exists for 11 months of the year. So it's crucial I eat a huge amount of it in December.

My Mum got me this cute set of cookie cutters from John Lewis a few years ago.

Once all the gingerbread is baked, and you don't want to overcook it, we leave it to cool and then wrap it up until the next day. And then the fun can begin...

Ben's so much better than me when it comes to anything technical, he loves to build anything so I leave the construction work to him, eating a few sweets whilst supervising. We covered a piece of cardboard in foil to build the house on, it needs something very flat to stick the icing to and ensure it will stay standing up. 

Gingerbread houses should always have a heart somewhere, either heart cut out windows or just an iced outline on the front. The four walls go up and are glued together with lots of icing on the inside, go crazy with it as it acts as glue but also makes eating it a lot yummier in a couple of weeks time. 

We're always paranoid that the roof will cave in so again, use a lot of icing to hold it all together and then make diamond shapes out of icing for roof tiles. We used little white chocolate jazzies to pretty it up. Then the chimney pieces stick on top of that. If you buy a kit you'll get all the detailed instructions.

With some extra dough, Ben made a little snowman figure and a Christmas tree which was cute and we iced little jazzie steps leading up to it. We used coloured jelly tots on the ridge of the roof for a bit of colour, they look like Christmas lights. 

All finished! It's not the most elaborate of gingerbread houses but it sure tastes delicious 

We leave it on display in the kitchen for a while, sometimes wrapped in cellophane but it keeps pretty well anyway. And then destroy it all and eat it in whilst watching a film, usually Love Actually just before Christmas! 


Last year I got a pretty new snowflake cutter so made some gingerbread cookies to give as presents wrapped in little clear cellophane bags. I used this recipe.

I used two different sized cutters to cut a big snowflake and then a smaller cut-out in the middle of them before baking. 

Once baked, the sparkly fun could begin! I drizzled them with white icing, made up of just icing sugar and water, and using cooling racks and newspaper underneath, drizzled in diagonal lines across the snowflakes. 

Then before the icing set, got the pot of edible glitter out. This stuff will cover your kitchen and hands forever, there's probably still some specks of it left from last year! But it's so pretty and is really sparkly. I bought this from the Spirit of Christmas fair but you can buy it from eBay or cake shops. Gold looks pretty on chocolate icing and silver on white. 

Sprinkle over the icing until your cookies are sparkly enough. Can something ever be too sparkly though?!

Then place a few cookies into a pretty Christmassy gift bags, these are from Sainsburys, and they'll keep for a good few weeks for Christmas presents or just leave them out for visiting friends and family. People always drop round unexpectedly at Christmas. 

Happy Baking! Christmas baking is the best kind. I'll be making a different type of gingerbread this year in the next couple of weeks so will be posting photos on Instagram {@rvk123} no doubt. Likewise for this year's other festive treats. 

Rebecca xx 

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