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gingerbread houses without the ginger

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I really want to make a gingerbread house this Christmas but I have never been a fan of gingerbread. I love decorating them though and eating the candies, I just can't eat the base.

So my question is, can I use a sugar cookie or shortbread base instead? I know that the gingerbread is harder and stands up against the icing and doesn't get too soggy, is there a different cookie base that would give me the same results?

Thanks in Advance
Gummy-Bear
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
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It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
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post #2 of 12
I have made "gingerbread" houses out of graham crackers. They just can't be overly big or they collapse. Medium sized ones will need some internal structure also.
post #3 of 12
Honestly, "construction grade" gingerbread isn't made for eating, anyway. It's made to sit on a display table for weeks and weeks.

I say make the house with heavy duty gingerbread and make another kind of cookie to snack on as you decorate your masterpiece:)
Jenni
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Jenni
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post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
OH WOW! I had no idea that it varied, that's pretty neat actually, and really good to know. Thank you!
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
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It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
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post #5 of 12
Yup, I always tell people that ask me about mygingerbread designs. That although it can be consumed I don't recommend it.hard as rocks and taste not that good. But makes houses that will last a couple months.
post #6 of 12
Hi Gummybear,
I think maybe what you don;t like about gingerbread is the spices. So, just make the recipe without the spices. I bet you'll like it.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'd love to see some of your gingerbread masterpieces.
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
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It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
You're right! (Aren't you always?! :smiles:) that's a good idea that never crossed my mind, there's just something in it that I don't like. It's in chai tea too cause I don't like that either.

So... I'll make the construction style, both with and without the spices, and transport everything flat, construct the houses at the destination, and decorate them with the boyfriend's little siblings. Earn girlfriend points with the parents, kids, and boyfriend and have a blast doing it.

Any advice in baking the structure? This will be my first time doing it from scratch...*fingers crossed*
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
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It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
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post #9 of 12
Don't use butter cookie or other cookie doughs, they are not able to stand up and may leach fat.

roll your dough on the pan and then cut out the templates. do not cut on the table and then move onto sheet pan, will warp.
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #10 of 12
i use boiling sugar syrup to glue the sides together and the roof on top, dip the edge in the syrup and then stick to the other side. It's a little dangerous though, since boiling sugar syryp (hard ball) is nasty if you touch it. Some use royal icing.

the taste in chai is actually spices, so i imagine that's what you don;t like. The other ingredients are mild.
My mother used to claim she hated molasses, because molasses is usually in spice cookies, spice cake and other spice dishes, but i convinced her once to try something with molasses and no spice and she liked it.
good luck
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
M-Brown: That's a great idea, and very good to know, rolling it on the pan will keep all of the sides uniform, correct?

Siduri: So all i have to do is dip the sides in the boiling sugar and attach? How long does it take to harden? I'll be sure to do that, certainly not something for the kids to do. If that would not work out, I'll do the royal icing.

A couple of other general questions:
Will the dough expand at all?
What's a good template size for the house?
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
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It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
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post #12 of 12
If you use a "construction gingerbread" recipe without leavening, it shouldn't rise much, but it is possible that your edges will have spread a bit. Just slice them off with a serrated blade. As to your template size, it totally depends on what size house you want.

I would suggest a footprint for the house of no more than 10"X6". Even a small house can be a big decorating task, and most home cooks will be limited by the size of their baking pans.

If you're using sugar syrup as your mortar, consider using a hair dryer on "Cool Shot" setting to harden the sugar quickly.

Good luck:lips:
Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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