A gingerbread home for the holidays


Sondos Elbershawi

OH SNAP!: Juniors Audrey Prickett, Andrew Kim and Evan Choi (left to right) decorate the roof of their gingerbread house with icing and colorful candies.

Pranav Gaddam, Staff Writer

Christmas season has come. It’s now time for us to summon our inner child, celebrate with food, presents, holiday cheer and best of all: your very own gingerbread house. There are multiple recipes floating around the internet, but here’s a great recipe from Food Network, satisfying in both construction and taste.

“The essential part of making good gingerbread is adding the right amount of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and ground ginger,” baking enthusiast junior Michelle Chen said.

The taste of your gingerbread will vastly improve with the right spice blend, but your preparation is just as important. To create the dough, you need to first cream the butter, sugar, molasses, cinnamon, cloves and baking soda and then blend that mixture with the flour and water.

“To make your gingerbread sturdy,youneedtoaddenoughflour so that the dough is clay like and doesn’t stick to your hand,” Chen said. “If you add too much flour, then your gingerbread house will crack.”

Be careful and don’t overwork it. Instead, let it be tender and firm to maintain that high quality taste. After you finish the dough, let it chill for at least 30 minutes to make the dough easier to work with and less likely to stick to other surfaces.

After rolling out the dough and cutting out shapes for your house, place the pieces onto a tray lined with a cookie sheet and bake them at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

While it bakes, you can make royal icing, a sugary cement that will seal together the pieces. First, mix three ounces of pasteurized eggs, one teaspoon vanilla extract and four cups of sugar before applying it between the pieces and letting it solidify to strengthen the structure’s integrity.

“The trick here is to not use too much frosting while trying to stick the gingerbread walls together,” Chen said. “If you use too much frosting the walls house may fall apart easier.”

Finally, top it with frosting, M&Ms, Kisses and peppermints. Whether you’re trying to make the best-tasting or best-looking gingerbread house, remember to feel free to break the rules and express your own creativity when celebrating this holiday season.