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Winter Wonderland Gingerbread Cottage Recipe

Winter Wonderland Gingerbread Cottage Recipe

Constructing a gingerbread cottage will become a tradition for your family during the holiday season with this easy recipe and instructions.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 3 hours + standing Bake: 15 min./batch + cooling YIELD:1 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-3/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and allspice
  • ROYAL ICING AND DECORATIONS:
  • 2 pounds confectioners' sugar
  • 6 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • Green and red gel food coloring
  • 1 wooden skewer (6 inches long)
  • Pastry tips—star tips #14 and 20, round tip #4 and leaf tip # 352
  • 5 pieces red rope licorice, divided
  • Red nonpareils, red milk chocolate M&M's, edible glitter and light bulb-shaped sprinkles
  • 4 cups Crispix
  • New small paintbrush
  • 19 large marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups crisp rice cereal
  • Additional confectioners' sugar
  • 9 miniature candy canes, divided
  • 1 piece red Fruit by the Foot fruit roll (1-3/4 inches)
  • Red, green and purple tiny-size Chiclets gum
  • Granulated sugar and coarse sugar
  • Minty Snowmen

Directions

  • 1. To make dough: In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking soda and spices; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Chill for 1 hour.
  • 2. Trace patterns onto waxed paper; cut out. On a parchment-paper lined baking sheet, roll out dough to a 1/4-in. thickness. With a sharp knife, cut out chimney pieces, house front and back. On house front, completely cut out door and window; reserve door piece. After baking, trim 1/4 in. from bottom of door piece.
  • 3. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until set. Immediately place patterns on cutouts and cut around edges to trim excess. Cool on pans for 2 minutes before carefully removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  • 4. Cut out two house sides, about 5-7/16-in. long x 5-6/16-in. high. Reroll scraps; cut out two roof pieces, about 7-7/16-in. long x 7-13/16-in. high. Bake and cool as directed.
  • 5. To make icing: In a large bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and meringue powder. Add warm water; beat on low speed for 1 minute. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Tint 1 cup green; cover and set aside. Leave remaining icing white.
  • 6. To decorate house pieces: Place front of house front-side down on a waxed paper-lined work surface. For front window panes, cut skewer into one 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 in. piece and one 2-3/4 in. piece. With icing, attach skewers; let dry completely.
  • 7. Place house sides and back on a waxed paper-lined work surface. Place house front with front side up. Using #14 pastry tip, pipe shell border around edges of house pieces. Add shell border on front of house and around door opening. With tip #4; pipe snowflakes and dots on front of house. Pipe side windows and front window panes over skewers.
  • 8. For front shutters, cut two 2-1/2-in. pieces of licorice; attach. Cut four pieces of licorice for side shutters; attach and let dry.
  • 9. Thin 1/4 cup icing with water and tint red; spread over door. Let dry completely. With white icing, pipe around door; add a window if desired and let dry. With tip #352 and reserved green icing, pipe green boughs above windows and door; add red nonpareils. Set aside remaining green icing for trees.
  • 10. To assemble house: Pipe icing along edges of house sides. Position at right angles to front of house. Press into place; prop with small cans. Pipe icing along inside edges for added stability. Repeat with back; let dry.
  • 11. To assemble chimney: Pipe icing along one side of front chimney piece and one adjoining side chimney piece. 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 side and back pieces. Let dry completely. Spread icing over chimney; add M&M's.
  • 12. To assemble roof: Pipe white icing along top edges of house walls. Position one roof piece; prop with cans. Repeat. Let dry completely. Frost roof pieces; attach chimney and Crispix shingles. Using tip #4, pipe snow on roof and around chimney opening. With a paintbrush, lightly brush Crispix with water; sprinkle with edible glitter.
  • 13. To decorate: Using tip #20, pipe a rope border along edge of roof; attach light bulb sprinkles. Pipe rope borders where the roof meets the house and where walls join at each corner.
  • 14. For finishing touches: In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine marshmallows and butter; heat until melted. Add crisp rice cereal. Form into tree shapes. With tip #352, pipe reserved green icing on trees. Sprinkle with edible glitter; decorate with light-bulb sprinkles and confectioners' sugar if desired.
  • 15. For bench, cut licorice into five 2-1/2-in. pieces. Cut curved ends from five candy canes, forming C-shaped pieces; set aside three curved pieces for fence and one straight piece for sled. With icing, attach one C-shaped piece to bottom of one whole candy cane (crook facing right), forming one side of bench frame. Repeat; let dry. Attach licorice pieces to bench frame pieces; prop and let dry. Add icing rivets.
  • 16. For sled, position reserved straight piece between two whole candy canes to form a sled; attach with icing. Attach Fruit by the Foot; let dry.
  • 17. For path, draw path pattern of your choice on waxed paper. Coat with icing; attach Chiclets and let dry.
  • 18. On a large covered board or tray, place the house and path. Add granulated sugar snow drifts; sprinkle with coarse sugar. Arrange the trees, bench, sled and Minty Snowmen around house. Insert reserved candy cane pieces into sugar for fence. Yield: 1 gingerbread cottage.