Top off our One-Layer Gingerbread Cake form our Nov/Dec issue with this charming Gingerbread Ski Chalet.
Gingerbread Ski Chalet
Makes dough for 5 gingerbread houses
- ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (110 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg (50 grams)
- ⅓ cup (96 grams) molasses
- 2½ cups plus 2 tablespoons (329 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon (3.75 grams) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- Royal Icing (recipe follows)
- Three Templates for House Pieces:
- House Front and Back: 2½ inches across the bottom, 1-inch sides, 2-inch pitch
- Side Walls: 3x1-inch rectangle
- Roof: 3½x2½-inch rectangle
- Use a ruler and cardboard to measure and cut out templates for house pieces (listed above). Cut outlined template pieces from cardboard.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add egg, beating well. Beat in molasses.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, salt, and allspice. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until combined. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to ⅛-inch thickness.
- Brush cardboard templates with flour so they do not stick to dough. Gently place templates over dough. Using a sharp knife, cut around templates. Instead of pulling knife, press directly up and down so knife doesn’t pull dough too much and templates stay in shape. Using a pastry brush, dust any excess flour off dough. Pull away dough scraps to be rerolled.
- Using a spatula, transfer pieces to prepared pans. If any pieces shift during transfer, use the end of the spatula to gently reshape. Using a pastry brush, gently dust any excess flour off dough.
- Bake until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely on pans, about 30 minutes. (Do not place on wire racks to let cool—it will prevent them from drying as flat as possible.) Once pieces are removed from oven, dust again with a pastry brush so that they are as clean as possible to help them attach better when constructing the house. Gingerbread can be baked up to 2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container until ready to construct house. Dough can be frozen for up to 1 month.
- Construct house with Royal Icing by piping a bead border on one end of a wall piece and joining it with one front piece. Use spice jars or small cans to help hold up the two pieces at a 90-degree angle. Repeat with remaining wall and front pieces, alternating attaching wall piece to left and right sides of front pieces so when you place two half pieces together, it creates the base of the house. Once dry (about 10 minutes), attach the roof pieces. Shingles can be piped on before or after the roof pieces are attached. We find it easier to do before you attach them and let them dry completely.
Makes 3 cups
- 4 cups (480 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 5 tablespoons (35 grams) meringue powder
- ⅓ cup (80 grams) plus ½ tablespoon (7.5 grams) cold water, divided
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder at low speed until combined. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium speed, add ⅓ cup (80 grams) cold water in a slow, steady stream, beating until thick and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Remove 1½ cups icing from bowl, and spoon into a piping bag fitted with a #10 piping tip. You will use this icing to hold the main pieces of the house together.
- Add remaining ½ tablespoon (7.5 grams) cold water to remaining 1½ cups icing, and beat until combined. Spoon icing into a piping bag fitted with a #2 piping tip. You will use this icing to decorate the house. Icing will keep refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface of icing to prevent it from hardening. (It will become lumpy and dry if exposed to the air for too long.) Let icing come to room temperature before using.