It all started out as a bad hair day. You see, Candy and Jack were selling their house. As Candy waited on the inspector, she went back to the days the house was being built. The walls were so pretty. They looked just like gingerbread! But there were cracks and weaknesses that they didn't know about. Even the decorators were excited about this house. Oh, how Candy loved her house. She decorated it for Christmas with all her favorite decorations. She even spiffied up the tree outside. Then, just as the inspector arrived...disaster struck! Something she never thought possible in MS...an avalanche! Or a bomb...no matter what it was awful!!! Cracks (not from the wonderful Yazoo clay) appeared. The roof came tumbling down! Candy quickly brought in the best builders she knew. Could they save the house? Could it pass inspection? The repairs just wouldn't stay! Maybe someone would like a skylight! Then Jack arrived home and greeted Candy with a frosty look. What have you done? WHAT happened to the house? It's crumbling. You'd think the house had just been stuck together! And Candy and Jack just gazed at their home as it was dismantled and taken away. So, as you can see...my gingerbread house didn't QUITE work and Jack and Candy ended up homeless! It was a very fun night though. Sarah and I laughed the whole time, squealed as things fell apart, and had so much fun making up stories about what had happened. Her husband didn't find it quite as funny but what does that matter!? :-) I used this Scandinavian recipe which was really good...and tasted good. Missed the part about "making" our own templates! Ooops...hopefully, I'll still be counted in the official participation. Thanks for a great challenge!
1 cup butter, room temperature [226g]
1 cup brown sugar, well packed [220g]
2 tablespoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ cup boiling water
5 cups all-purpose flour [875g]
1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until blended. Add the cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Mix the baking soda with the boiling water and add to the dough along with the flour. Mix to make a stiff dough. If necessary add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Chill 2 hours or overnight.
2. Cut patterns for the house, making patterns for the roof, front walls, gabled walls, chimney and door out of cardboard.
3. Roll the dough out on a large, ungreased baking sheet and place the patterns on the dough. Mark off the various pieces with a knife, but leave the pieces in place.
4. [I rolled out the dough on a floured bench, roughly 1/8 inch thick (which allows for fact that the dough puffs a little when baked), cut required shapes and transferred these to the baking sheet. Any scraps I saved and rerolled at the end.]
5. Preheat the oven to 375'F (190'C). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the cookie dough feels firm. After baking, again place the pattern on top of the gingerbread and trim the shapes, cutting the edges with a straight-edged knife. Leave to cool on the baking sheet.