Sunday, December 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Gingerbread House

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.

So maybe I went a little overboard making a gingerbread farm (upwards of 15 hours over the last four days :p ), but I couldn't help it. I'm not really a decorator, I'm a baker. Flavors, ingredients, recipes, that's what I can do. Artistry? Not really. But I thought if there was anything I could pull off, it would be a project that's more architecture and engineering that happens to look like art.

And everyone around my house appreciated that I spent four days baking something that wouldn't expand their waistlines in the end (cause ain't nobody eatin' this baby).

I used Anna's recipe, but was cautious about adding all the flour since so many people noted the dough gets very dry. I ended up about one cup of flour short of what the recipe called for. I used a box inside the farm house to hold it up (I know, I know, but the green house is holding itself up!), and I use a lollipop recipe for the glue. I used cake crumbs for the dirt, and the "glass" (more lollipop syrup) is lightly colored greed, but it's hard to tell against the board. The herbs are actually herbs: lavender, mint, sage, rosemary, chamomile. And if you look closely on the porch, there's a tea pot on the table, made by my sister!

Great challenge! Watch for it, this'll be my farm for real in a couple years!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gingerbread Cakebites

For the neighborhood Christmas party everyone is supposed to bring candy for the dessert. That means no cake, no cookies, no brownies! I love candy, granted. But not just candy. So I used Bakerella for inspiration, and will bring candy looking gingerbread cakebites, and shortbread.


1/4 c butter
1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c molasses
1 1/2 c flour
1 t powdered ginger
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t allspice
1 t baking powder
1/2 c milk

Cream butter with the brown sugar. Add the molasses and eggs. Combine the dry ingredients. Alternate adding in the dry ingredients and milk in thirds until all combined. Bake at 350 F for 30 min.

To make cake balls, see Bakerella.

1 c butter
1/2 c confectioners sugar
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c corn starch

Cream the butter until very light, about 2 min. Add the sugar, cream for another 2 min. Stir in the flours and salt until combined. Roll the dough into balls, and bake at 300 F for 20 min.

Look what finally bloomed! And it's only been two years...