Monday, January 7, 2013

Challenge No 11 - Gingerbread House Pops / Name Plates / Mug Sitters

Month 11 - November
Blog 11 - The Decorated Cookie

Recipe 11 - Gingerbread House Pops

Mini Gingerbread House Pops, Name Plates or Mug Sitters

I started out planning to replicate the little cute Gingerbread House Pops  that Meaghan Mountford at Decorated Cookie had made, I had the blog page tagged for most of the year, with it on my Batter Up List, however when I commenced the task, I found the weight of 6 cookies was too much to sustain a lolly pop stick well. So I came up with a fab little creation of "Mug Sitters"!

PLUS ... when do I ever just leave a recipe or tutorial alone and not tweek it.... somehow? when? Never!

To Start :

1/2 batch of Gingerbread Cookie Dough (Dough Recipe)
1 batch Royal Icing (best icing for houses of any sort - see below)
White Crystal Cut Sugar (can also use sanding sugar but its finer)
Piping bag
Piping Tip #2
Lollypop Sticks x 12 (optional)
Small Knife (cutting out peices)
Baking Paper (line pan and to trace pattern to cut out and use to cut gingerbread)

Royal Icing Recipe

2 Egg Whites
4 1/2 cups Pure Icing (Powdered) Sugar
1 tsp Lemon Juice (fresh)
Quick Icing Method - Whisk egg whites until very white and foamy, then add in sugar 1 cup at a time and finally the lemon juice (this is the ingredient that will set the icing like concrete quickly). Place in pipping bag ready to go!

Make your dough and refridgerate for at least 1 hour.

Trace out the house pattern onto some baking or grease-proof paper and cut them out.  You will need 3 different shapes (2 x sides and 1 x roof).

Once chilled but not hard, roll out your dough on a floured surface to approx 0.5cm thick or just under a 1/4 inch.  Take your 3 templates you have cut out, and cut around them in the dough.  Cut 2 of each template per house you require.  I also reccomend some spares as some pieces fit better together than others due to expanding in the baking.  Also I dropped 2 on the floor, broke corner off and gee whizz I had to eat them!

Note : Before baking if you want the option of the "Mug Sitters" then ensure you cut out a door on each end, these will be the high pitched roof ends, use a guide to make sure your doors are all the same sizes or else they won't balance on the sides of your mugs.  You will need to take into account the width of your lip of your mug as some mugs can be slightly thicker.

Make your Royal Icing (recipe above) after you have baked your gingerbread pieces following the recipe and method in the link above under "To Start" and the Gingerbread Cookie Dough link.

Ensure your peices are completely cold before commencing the assembling and icing process, if you dont the icing will melt and slide off (not attractive or cohesive at all).

I found it best for the next stage to work in an assembly line process...

Lie your house peices down outside of house face down and back of the house(rough side) face up, partner them up with the side you are going to join together.

On the tall side pieces, pipe a line of icing up each side, on the rough side (not the edge), stand the piece up and press the edge of the small walls against each line of icing. Stand up the house on its 4 sides, upright, and allow ten minutes to dry.

Next pipe a line of icing along the top of the house walls and stick both pieces of roof onto their places, run a line of icing down the centre of the roof to join the 2 halves securely.

Then you may pipe on your decorations in whatever design you like, whilst wet sprinkle the sugar onto the icing.  I recommend doing this over a bowl or a sheet of paper so that you can put the excess back into the container.

If you are placing onto a stick I would wait overnight until the house is completely dry, push the stick into a large marshmallow and then push the marshmallow into the house from the bottom.

These were a popular item for the Cookie Queen Kitsch'n in December 2012. Big thank you to two facebook pages for promoting me <Down That Little Lane> and <KIDsize Living>.  It was an item that I even shipped as far as Hobart Tasmania!

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