These cannot be whipped up in a hurry and are not something for the time poor. The gingerbread mixture needs to be made and allowed to stand for several hours or overnight, then the dough needs to rolled out and cut out. The pieces need to be baked and completely cold before assembling the house and then the fun part - the decoration. It also takes quite some time to fully decorate a house, however, simpler decorations will reduce the amount of time needed.
Note that a few baking mishaps can be corrected with some royal icing.
I use an assortment of lollies and chocolates to decorate. All of these are attached with a little royal icing, and the finished house is a complete sugar overload. The inside can also be filled with sweets prior to attaching the last roof section.
Arrange the smarties in any pattern that you like, I seem to always make a circular wreath for the front and then cover the back and sides with alternating rows of smarties and freckles.
The doors and windows are made from a piece of white chocolate, shaved to reduce the thickness but also to create the illusion of a panelled door.
Spread a thin layer of icing in clumps onto the board to make the snow on the ground. Create a garden with mint leaves pushed onto bullets, trim the bottomof the bullet so that it is Licorice allsorts make good planter pots.
The final step is to sift some icing sugar over the house and garden so that it looks like fresh snow.
The gingerbread can also be baked into smaller and more manageable cookies, then iced and decorated.
Once again the trees can be heavily decorated
for gingerbread men, houses, sleighs etc
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup Golden Syrup
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
5 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons Bicarbonate of Soda
Heat butter, syrup, sugar and vinegar until dissolved. Stir occasionally.
Remove from heat and allow to stand and cool (approx 10 -20) mins
Add egg and beat with a wooden spoon.
Add remaining dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Allow the dough to cool/chill for a couple of hours. I usually do this overnight and leave it wrapped in clingfilm in a container on the bench.
Roll dough onto Gladbake, approx 6mm thick
Cut out shapes. Leave shapes on Gladbake and reuse dough that has been cut away.
Place Glad bake with shapes on greased trays
Bake 180 C for approx 15 mins
Trim shapes if desired. This needs to be done as soon as the pieces are removed from the oven.
Cool and decorate.
sufficient dough to make 2 houses and some cookies