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Gingerbread Chalet

 Gingerbread Chalet
The A-frame design on this pretty country chalet is easy enough for even first-timers to make. So gather the kids or grandkids and have a blast creating this fun holiday project. —Peggy Anderson, Haughton, Louisiana
1 ServingsPrep: 25 min. Bake: 15 min. + assembly

Ingredients

  • DOUGH:
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons hot brewed coffee
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ICING AND ASSEMBLY:
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Hot water
  • 15-inch-square display base (heavyduty cardboard or cutting board or piece of plywood, covered with foil wrapping paper or aluminum foil)
  • Serrated knife or emery board
  • Green, red and yellow liquid or paste food coloring
  • Pastry bags or heavy-duty resealable plastic bags
  • Pastry tips - #10 round, #5 round and #16 star

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Gingerbread Chalet (continued)

Ingredients (continued)

  • 2 cans (canned goods) from pantry for propping
  • Colored gumdrops
  • 3 Andes mint candies, unwrapped
  • Spearmint candies or green gumdrops
  • Miniature pretzels twists
  • Additional confectioners' sugar
  • Cotton ball or batting

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine butter and brown sugar until light and
  • fluffy. Add the egg, molasses and corn syrup. Combine the flour,
  • cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg; gradually add to butter mixture. In a
  • small bowl, combine coffee and baking soda; stir into the dough
  • (dough will be stiff).
  • Trace patterns onto waxed paper and cut out. Lightly coat two baking
  • sheets with cooking spray. Divide dough in half. Using a lightly
  • floured rolling pin, roll out the dough directly onto the baking
  • sheets to 1/8-in. thickness.
  • Position patterns on dough. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut
  • out according to quantities noted on each pattern piece. Remove
  • patterns. Remove dough scraps; cover, refrigerate and save to reroll
  • if needed.
  • Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to
  • wire racks to cool. Use remaining dough for cutout cookies (about 2
  • dozen).
  • To make icing: In a large bowl, beat egg whites until foamy.
  • Gradually add sugar and a few drops of hot water; beat for 12-15
  • minutes. If too stiff add additional hot water; if too thin, add
  • more sugar. Place a damp cloth over bowl and cover tightly between
  • uses.
  • To assemble chalet: Test cookie pieces to make sure they fit together
  • snugly. If necessary, file the edges carefully with a serrated knife
  • or emery board to make them fit.
  • Insert #10 round tip into pastry bag; fill two-thirds full with
  • icing. Beginning with the chimney, pipe a wide strip of icing along
  • the longest edge of chimney piece A. Angle and press the longest
  • edge of chimney piece B against it; set aside.
  • Ice along the two longer edges of chimney piece C. Press one edge
  • against the shortest edge of chimney piece A. and one against the
  • shortest edge of chimney piece B to form a triangle. Gently press
  • all three chimney pieces together (see Fig.1). Set aside to dry

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Gingerbread Chalet (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • completely, about 3-4 hours.
  • Meanwhile, pipe icing along the two longest edges of both the front
  • and back chalet pieces. With longest sides pointing up, position
  • first one A-frame roof piece, then the other, at about a 45°
  • angle between the front and back house pieces. Press pieces gently
  • together to "miter" them. Prop with canned goods and set chalet
  • aside to dry, 3-4 hours.
  • When dry, pipe icing around bottom of chalet and position it in
  • center of display base. Press gently into place.
  • Referring to photo, center chimney on one side of chalet. Ice bottom
  • edge of chimney piece C and press onto peak of chalet so that the
  • chimney rises above it.
  • Ice the back of the door and center it on front of chalet, as
  • indicated on pattern. Press into place.
  • To decorate chalet: Frost both sides of A-frame roof with white
  • icing.
  • Referring to pattern for window placement, use #5 round tip to
  • outline windows on front of chalet with white icing. Using #10 round
  • tip, pipe around door. Also outline all chimney edges and around the
  • base of the chalet on all sides.
  • Tint a small amount of icing with green food coloring. Use #16 star
  • tip to make a wreath on the door and garlands over windows.
  • Tint a small portion of icing with red food coloring. Use #5 round
  • tip to add berries to wreath and garlands.
  • Cut six thin slices from gumdrops. Frost upper third of chalet front
  • with white icing; press gumdrop slices into icing. Using #5 round
  • tip, pipe white icicles randomly over gumdrops.
  • Tint a small portion of icing with yellow food coloring. Using #5
  • round tip, pipe two door hinges and a doorknob onto door.
  • For sidewalk, use white icing to adhere bottom of mints to display
  • base in front of chalet door. For bushes, ice the bottoms of the
  • spearmint candies or green gumdrops and position them in front of
  • the chalet.
  • To make pretzel fence, use white icing to "anchor" pretzels to
  • display base all around the chalet.
  • With a dab of white icing, attach one pretzel to the roof peak above
  • the gumdrops. Using #5 round tip, pipe icing "snow" on top of
  • pretzel on roof.
  • Tuck a wisp of cotton in the chimney for smoke. Dust confectioners'

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Gingerbread Chalet (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • sugar "snow" on display base around chalet. Yield: 1 chalet.