And when the children came near they found it was the most wonderful cottage they had ever seen. It was built entirely of gingerbread and ornamented with cookies. The windows were made of transparent candy and the steps of toffee. [From "Hansel and Gretel", The Brothers Grimm]
There is something magical about a gingerbread cottage. It might be the heady scent of the spicy walls and roof. Or maybe the lure of the snowy icing and bright sweets. Or perhaps that secret dream of being able to eat your accommodation.
This year I am turning my hand to a bit of edible craft for Argy and Bargy. They are already avowed gingerbread fans, so I would imagine that the combination of that and a load of sweets cemented into vaguely house-like shape, will be quite irresistible.
I have made a few cottages before, but not for a good number of years. The construction is a bit fiddly and there is always potential for something to go awry. But risk equals return. Its hard to think of an example of a bad cottage (we haven't seen one on Cake Wrecks, right?) - they all look special. And if something really does go horribly wrong, you can always eat the evidence and deny its existence.
I will be writing a few posts over the next couple of weeks about various aspects of making a cottage. If you fancy joining in for a Gingerbread-cottage-along leave a comment here and let me know. It will all be very casual - share as much or as little as you like. This is just for fun. Make one from scratch or create it from a kit. (There are plenty of fantastic pre-fabs about these days - I even saw one in my small local Coles supermarket the other day.) If you are an old hand at making cottages, perhaps you could share your favourite tips as we go along.
These are the days that I will write the posts:
- Thursday 11 December - choosing a gingerbread recipe
- Saturday 13 December - selecting a house pattern
- Monday 15 December - humidity-proofing a gingerbread house
- Wednesday 17 December - assembling and decorating a house
- Sometime after Saturday 20 December - (hopefully!) showing an assembled house
(Download 11-page PDF of all related posts)
* Note: the gingerbread pictured above was located at the back of a cupboard on the weekend. They were pieces from a cottage project abandoned last year. Whilst stashing is an accepted - and even, encouraged - practice amongst craftspeople, I would not recommend stashing gingerbread. I threw caution to the wind and nibbled a small piece. It was nasty. No, correction .... completely vile. No matter what you read anywhere ... homemade gingerbread will not last for 12 months. And yes, I really should clean out my cupboards more often.