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Our Gingerbread Homestead. As promised!

12:05 PM

I felt inspired this year via my friends over at SimpleBites to create a Gingerbread house.  With the help of our 2 kids... and without using any dairy or corn ingredients.  And, it was a smashing success!  ... if a bit messy.  I have to admit that royal icing is NOT my preferred medium to work with. LOL.

Also, it's time for a (small) confession. Most of the baking that takes place in our house is done by my amazing Hubby.   He's especially good at making cakes, breads, quickbreads... just about anything you could possibly dream up.  As I type this, he's making his annual booze-filled fruit cake from scratch....  which I will put up here sometime in the very near future...

But, I digress!  

We made our Corn-Free, Dairy-Free Gingerbread Homestead this morning and here's how we did it:

First I ordered the candy a few weeks ago from here:  http://www.naturalcandystore.com

I was so pleased by the selection and here's what we decided to decorate with:

Ok, so the Chocolate chips were from Wegmans.  But they're a staple in our house , so I didn't have to go out and buy them special.

Then, it was Hubby's turn to get to work making the dough using a recipe modified from Foodnetwork.com:

1 stick margarine, at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light molasses 
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth. Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough. Chill at least 30 minutes or until firm.
* We ended up adding a little extra water at the end to get rid of the "crumbly" texture... maybe about 2 extra tablespoons*

Preheat your oven to 375f.
Then, roll out your dough and cut out your shapes:

Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes until dough feels firm.

While you're waiting for the pieces to cool, make your royal icing!

Royal Icing
Dairy-free, Corn-free
1 pound (3-3/4 cups) Cornstarch-free powdered sugar
4 teaspoons packaged egg whites 
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp water
Mix all of the ingredients together using an electric hand mixer, until the icing is smooth and thin enough to be pressed through a pastry bag with a writing tip.
** umm... we didn't have a pastry bag with tips... we just spread it on with knives HAHAHA**

I powdered it all in Corn-free Powdered sugar to create "snow".  Also, yes, that's a witch you see on the side of the cottage... Ani said that there had to be one b/c they always live in candy houses (Hansel and Gretel). 
Happy Holidays!!

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