Our beautiful gingerbread house

I know i'm definitely quite late on the bandwagon with this one as they're usually just for the festive season, but on New years day we finally got around to making a gingerbread house:). I had my mind set on big things, gingerbread mansions, mini villages, small cities and sky scrappers; a little gingerbread empire was going to begin. The cookbook we used was one intended for children, with photographs of children baking it throughout (not an adult in sight).. & after two 21-22 year olds and five hours complete with our mini gingerbread house, I can 100% say I have no idea how youngsters could even attempt to build one of these! So we didn't quite end up with a to-scale gingerbread model of NYC as I was hoping, but i'm actually so proud of our small, but perfectly formed Hansel and Gretel house look-a-like.

If you avoid using festive confectionary such as candy canes and dusting it with icing sugar to form snow, then I really think these little houses can be made throughout the year, they would look so cute being themed for birthdays and other occasions. Our house stands at 20cm tall, and to make it we used these quantities :
450g plain flour
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 
120g butter
4 tbsp brown sugar
160g golden syrup
2 tbsp beaten egg
sweets to decorate 

Notice the children's cookbook!

The recipe said to use an electric mixer, but there was no need as it took just a couple of minutes without and the child in me wanted to get my hands stuck in

Me getting all excited thinking I was elf, added too much syrup which proved to be a good idea as the gingerbread was stronger when putting it all together

We googled 'gingerbread house template' and then used the dimensions to make our own

Not wanting to waste the leftovers, we used a heart shaped cutter to make mini biscuits. Granted, they look like dog biscuits, but they tasted good!

Before putting the pieces into bake, we put a boiled sweet inside each of the window cut outs in the hope that it would melt to form a real window, and it actually works! Definitely looks like there's inhabitants with the lights on shining through!

Junior getting involved in the architectural structure planning haha

To decorate the roof we used strawberry laces and cute little edible heart confetti

Using a piping set in replacement for cement, I piped the icing sugar along each of the edges. If you make it quite thick then it sets quickly and there's no need to sit there holding it

Even the little girls dress is made from marshmallows and icing! 

The most unflattering photo of us both, but after five hours of being master bakers the house was complete!

This is where the masterpiece remains.. I'm sure it can't taste better than it looks and I can't bring myself or anyone else to break it up! Not sure what to do with it now..

I'd really recommend to everyone to make one of these, it's actually so fun and strangely rewarding haha and it needs to be a definite addition to those bucket lists!

Love Zoey xo

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Thanks for reading! If you’re asking a question, tweet me at @zoeywitherspoon & I’ll get back to you!