These adorable, edible mug toppers are as fragile as they are cute, which brings me to Day 12 of my Advent Holiday Delights! I had the bright idea of making these for my secret santa who requested a tea kettle. I have made my fair share of gingerbread houses, and I know how difficult constructing them can be. The pieces have to actually fit together.
Day 12: Gingerbread House Mug Toppers
Difficulty: Impressive Challenge
Unlike pie dough, you can't just pinch a piece from here or pull a piece from there so that it comes together. Constructing the house must be the focal point for each step. So, when I saw that these mini-gingerbread houses were gaining popularity, I thought about how precise and patient one would have to be to successfully make them. I also decided not to try.
But, ambition got the best of me. So yesterday, I made half a batch of my most delicious gingerbread dough and and got to work. I tried to follow directions from a blog, but it really wasn't working out. At all. I decided to roll the gingerbread dough out as thin as possible, then bake it, then quickly cut the pieces before they cooled. Well, this actually worked! Until it didn't...
I cut out the squares and rectangles first, leaving the most intricate parts of the house (the front and back doors) for last. This meant that the cookies were nearly cooled by the time I got to the most intricate part, so many a front house crumbled as I cut it. If that wasn't bad enough, some pieces broke as I picked them up to move them. Others broke as I started to glue them together. Never the roof or walls, just the pieces with the doors! During this process, I learned a few tips that will guide me for the next time I make these!
For example, the dough needs to be thin--but it can't be too thin. If it is too thin, it is more prone to break. Also, if the roof pieces are too thick, they will be too heavy. So, next time, I will make some pieces thicker than others. Also, I will cut out the most intricate pieces first. Those are the only pieces who crumbled as I attempted to construct the houses.
Once the houses were constructed and had set (I stored them in the refrigerator overnight), their durability greatly increased. I still have a ton of gingerbread dough left even though I only made half of a batch. I think I'll save it for gingerbread cookies.