Since this year I can’t go to my village for Christmas, I thought of bringing my village closer to me. How? By making a Christmas gingerbread village.
Christmas is getting closer and we will spend this time of the year quite different. Last year, as every year, the preparations for the holiday season had already began. Every single year, I a visiting my hometown Florina. This year it will not be possible, although I want it more than every year. But it does not matter, we are all good in health and that’s what counts.
But I can’t help myself from having the feeling of nostalgia. Christmas as a child was always white. This is my hometown you see, white and cold. I remember waking up in the morning, and getting up impatiently to see if there was any snow. And most of the time our yard was full of fluffy snow waiting for me. This magical white balance was disturbed by a trail that my grandmother had made. And the clumsy footsteps of our dog, named Frixos, who always followed her.
Then I opened the door of the house and the cold was hitting my face at once. In front of our door I would usually find the cats curled up, if they had not been hidden somewhere in the barn. I was trying to see where my grandmother was, and if she was not somewhere nearby I would put the cats inside the house for a while to warm them up.
All around only white, your eyes almost ached from the brightness of the snow. Which brought with it the absolute silence. I still love so much the silence of the snow.
Can I substitute the molasses?
Gingerbread cookies have as their main ingredients spices and molasses. I had a lot of spices, but a problem occurred with molasses. So I decided to replace it with honey. So yes, you may substitute molasses with honey.
How to make the houses?
If you search the internet you will find a lot of patterns for gingerbread houses, small or large. I used the designs from a specific site, you may find it here. At the end of the recipe you will find the patterns.
Keep in mind that for each house you will have to cut the corresponding pieces twice. That is, each house needs six pieces of a pattern. My recipes makes about 10 houses. But there was some dough left over, which I just made into simple cookies.
What equipment will I need?
You may think that we need special equipment for the Christmas village, but this is not true. So in terms of equipment, you will need the following:
- scissors – to cut the pattern from the houses
- sharp knife – to cut the dough to the desired patterns
- pastry bag or cornet – to assemble houses, but also to decorate them
How to decorate the houses?
In the decoration of houses there are no rules. Let your imagination guide you. You may add candies or colored truffles. You can also paint a small amount of the royal icing to make different designs, such as a tree.
WHAT TO WATCH ABOUT THE RECIPE
The recipe is really very easy. The fact is that the construction of houses takes a lot of time. So and in order not to exhausted, it would be good to bake the cookies one day and start building the houses the next! You will definitely need less time if you choose to follow a single house pattern.
Christmas gingerbread village
For the cookie dough
- 180 gr butter, room temperature
- 160 gr brown sugar
- 2 eggs, medium
- 250 gr honey
- 700 gr all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp salt
For the royal icing
- 2 egg whites
- 400 gr powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
For the cookies
- Beat the butter in the bowl of the mixer and then add the sugar. Beat for 2-3 minutes or until fluffy.
- Add the eggs one by one to the mixer bowl and then the honey. Beat for another 2 minutes.
- Then add the baking powder, the spices and salt to the mixture.
- Finally add the flour and mix it by hand until well mixed.
- Divide the mixture into two equal parts, wrap with a bee wax and leave in the fridge for an hour.
- Roll out the dough using more flour, in between two sheets of parchment paper. Make a sheet of dough about 3-4 cm thick. Cut out the shapes by using the pattern for the houses. Transfer the pieces to baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
For the royal icing
- Beat the egg whites, but before they turn stiff, add the sugar and lemon juice.
- Continue beating until glossy stiff peaks form.
For the houses
- By using the royal icing glue the pieces of the houses together. Set aside the houses to dry and then decoreate them with the remaining royal icing.
So this was my attempt to add a little magic to this Christmas, with this Christmas gingerbread village. Whether you make my own recipe or not, I will be very happy to see your little houses around the internet.
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