Frosty Palace is what Cambrie named this sweet, Valentine's Day confectionery gingerbread house. It was at the top of their to-do list while spending the week with us as their Mommy and Daddy were away at a conference!
telling Pop-Pop their plans to decorate the Palace
sweet toddler hands
Here is a link to a great recipe for:
Building a Gingerbread House
by Susan Reid @King Arthur Flour
I didn't use my usual recipe because I was more interested in a dough that would produce a strong cookie to avoid breakage (and much disappointment). This dough worked so well. It isn't very sweet all by itself, but with the addition of frosting, it tastes great!
GINGERBREAD COOKIE HOUSE TEMPLATE: Here is a link (BBC Food Recipes) to the gingerbread house template I used, but there are many free patterns found on the web if you are looking for something different. We did not include the chimney, for simplicity sake and changed the stars to hearts for this occasion.
3/4 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons butter or margarine (I used shortening)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
one large egg
5 cups King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour (I used regular all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt.
Follow link to King Arthur Flour for directions
3 egg whites (or 1/4 cup meringue powder combined with 1/2 cup of cold water in place of the egg whites) I used meringue powder instead of the egg whites.
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 cups (1 pound) unsifted confectioner sugar
food coloring, if desired
The Royal Icing is also from the King Arthur Site. I used meringue power and water instead of egg whites. It made a large batch of easy-to-pipe frosting that was smooth, white and dried hard and strong.
We made the dough one morning, wrapped well and placed it in the refrigerator. The following day, we rolled out the dough, cut into house pieces, baked, cooled and wrapped the cookies in plastic wrap. On the morning of the third day, we "glued" the sections together and allowed to dry and harden, undisturbed. By early afternoon, the gingerbread house was ready to be decorated. The little girls worked on it for a while, took a break and came back a couple of times until it was completed to their liking.
With leftover dough, we made some heart-shaped cookies.