Gingerbread house for kids of all ages
- All-Purpose flour -- 3 cups
- Salt -- 1/4 teaspoon
- Baking soda -- 1 teaspoon
- Ground ginger -- 2 teaspoons
- Ground cinnamon -- 1 teaspoon
- Grated nutmeg -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Ground cloves -- 1/4 teaspoon
- Dark brown sugar -- 1/2 cup
- Butter -- 4 ounces (or 8 Tablespoons)
- Unsulfured molasses (such as Grandma's) -- 1/2 cup
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Set aside.
In a Kitchen Aid mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and butter. Add the molasses and beat until blended. Gradually add in the flour mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated.
Place the dough on the counter and flatten into a thick, round disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and Chill for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Take 1/4 of the dough at a time and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough to about 1/4th inch. Use templates of a house pattern to cut out the design you desire. Or you can just make gingerbread boys and girls with cookie cutters.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the pieces are firm to the touch and just beginning to color around the edges.
- Egg whites 3 eggs
- Powdered sugar 4 cups
In Kitchen Aid mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, place the egg whites and sugar and beat at high speed until very glossy and stiff peaks form. This will take about 3-4 minutes.
This keeps in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days.
Place in a piping bag and use to decorate your gingerbread house.
About Annie Baker:
Despite her prophetic-sounding name, Annie Baker did not start out to be a pastry chef. Instead, her practical parents pushed her toward the white collar world. After receiving an Accounting degree from Saint Mary's College in South Bend, Indiana, Annie dutifully went to work for a large corporate bank in downtown Chicago. After ten years of "counting beans" and (more importantly) delighting a steadily increasing number of co-workers with the sweet treats she made at home, Annie ventured West and enrolled in the Pastry Arts Program at CIA Greystone for formal training.
Annie was always creative and detail-oriented, but it was then and there that she gained the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to advance from amateur home baker to professional pastry chef. Upon graduation - and barely a year after dining as just another tourist at Mustards Grill in the Napa Valley - Annie joined the Mustards kitchen team and was quickly given her own pastry station to manage and develop. Her friendly personality, infectious enthusiasm and zany sense of humor brightened the kitchen where, as Mustards Pastry Chef, she collaborated with owner/chef Cindy Pawlcyn to create the popular restaurant's delectable desserts for over 5 years, leaving in June 2008. Currently Annie is teaching baking and having fun doing cooking demos in the Napa Valley. Annie Baker radiates pure happiness and zest for life. She is a popular teacher as well as a chef, always eager to share personal experiences and insights into the joys of finding one's destiny later on in life - sometimes even when you least expect it.