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“Home Sweet Home” Gingerbread Cottage

 “Home Sweet Home” Gingerbread Cottage
I love to see the end of a project, like this Christmas cottage—but my favorite part is the process. It's fun to watch the gingerbread, icing and candy decorations come together creatively. —Johanna Rosson, Fort Hood, Texas
1 ServingsPrep: 3 hours + chilling Bake: 15 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1-2/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Waxed paper and parchment paper
  • 3 butterscotch candies, crushed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons water
  • Red and green paste food coloring
  • New paintbrush
  • ICING AND ASSEMBLY:
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Pastry tips—round tips #4 and #2, star tip #14
  • Gold dragee, edible glitter, cardboard cake circle (8 inches), frosted bite-size Shredded Wheat, peppermint candy sticks, small jelly beans, milk chocolate M&M, miniature candy canes, jumbo heart sprinkles, jumbo gumdrops, red licorice, butterscotch candies, pretzel rods and jumbo peppermint stick

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“Home Sweet Home” Gingerbread Cottage (continued)

Directions

  • To make dough: In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, corn
  • syrup and butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is
  • melted. Combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger and salt; stir into
  • brown sugar mixture (mixture will be stiff). Transfer to a small
  • bowl. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  • Trace patterns onto waxed paper; cut out. On a lightly floured
  • surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Position patterns on
  • dough and cut out. Using a sharp knife, score outlines to mark
  • windows and door where indicated on pattern, being careful not to
  • cut all the way through dough. Using a toothpick, draw lines into
  • dough to form bricks on all pieces except door area and roof. (Keep
  • pieces covered to prevent them from drying out.)
  • Transfer all cutouts to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake at
  • 350° for 12-15 minutes or until browned. Immediately replace
  • patterns on cutouts and cut around edges to trim excess. Cut out
  • windows completely. Cool on pans for 2 minutes before carefully
  • removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Return front of house to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Spoon
  • 1 teaspoon crushed candies into each window cutout. Bake at 400°
  • for 3-4 minutes or until candy is melted. Cool completely on baking
  • sheet before removing.
  • Tint water with desired amount of red food coloring. Using
  • paintbrush, paint mixture over each piece except door area and roof;
  • blot gently with paper towels and let dry.
  • To make icing: In a large bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar,
  • meringue powder and cream of tartar. Add water; beat on low speed
  • just until combined. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until stiff
  • peaks form. Keep icing covered at all times with a damp cloth.
  • To assemble frame of house: Working with a small amount of icing at a
  • time, wipe icing over bricks using your fingertip. Immediately wipe
  • gently with paper towels to remove excess.
  • Place front of house on a flat surface. Tint a small amount of icing
  • green and a small amount red. Cut a small hole in the corner of a
  • pastry or plastic bag; insert #4 round pastry tip. Fill the bag with
  • white icing. Pipe lines to trim door and windows, and to form
  • windowpanes. For door knob, attach dragee with icing.
  • Using a #14 star tip and green icing, pipe garland along windows and
  • a wreath on door. Using a #2 round tip and red icing, pipe berries
  • on garland and a bow and berries on wreath. Pipe additional details
  • as desired; sprinkle immediately with glitter. Let dry completely.

3 of 3

“Home Sweet Home” Gingerbread Cottage (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • Pipe icing along base and one side of front of house and the
  • adjoining side wall. Place walls at right angles to each other on
  • cake circle; prop with small cans. Pipe icing along inside and
  • outside edges for added stability. Repeat with second side section
  • and back. Let dry completely.
  • For chimney: Pipe icing along one side of front of chimney and one
  • adjoining side wall. Position at right angles to each other and
  • place on waxed paper; pipe icing along inside edge for added
  • stability. Hold in place until secure. Repeat with remaining sides.
  • Let dry completely.
  • To assemble roof: Generously pipe icing along top edges of house.
  • Position roof pieces so there is equal overhang in front and back.
  • Pipe icing along the joining edges. Prop bottoms of roof pieces with
  • cans until roof is completely dry.
  • On left roof piece, position chimney 1-3/4 inches from the front and
  • 1-3/4 inches down from the top. Pipe dots of icing to mark the
  • position of bottom chimney corners. Pipe icing onto the edges of
  • chimney and attach to roof. Hold in place until secure, about 1
  • minute. Let dry completely. Center cap of chimney over chimney top,
  • leaving a small overhang on all sides; attach with icing.
  • To decorate roof: With tip #4, pipe icing along bottom of chimney
  • side of roof. Press five Shredded Wheat pieces into icing in a row;
  • repeat to cover both roof pieces. On one roof piece, pipe a line of
  • icing along top row of Shredded Wheat; press a candy stick into
  • icing. Repeat on other side.
  • Attach four Shredded Wheat pieces along the peak of the roof with
  • icing; arrange jelly beans along peak and an M&M at the front gable.
  • Shape two miniature candy canes into a heart shape; attach to roof.
  • Decorate as desired with heart sprinkles and additional icing.
  • For finishing touches: Cover cake circle with icing. For shrubs,
  • immediately place gumdrops in front of house. Spread with green
  • icing; pipe berries with red icing.
  • For sidewalk, attach red licorice pieces in front of door; place
  • butterscotch candies for stepping stones. Brush licorice with a
  • small amount of water; sprinkle with glitter. Break pretzel rods
  • into pieces; stack at side of house for firewood. For smoke,
  • carefully cut the jumbo peppermint stick to desired length; attach
  • to chimney cap with icing. Hold in place until secure, about 1
  • minute. Yield: 1 gingerbread cottage.