Gingerbread houses and Pepperkake

Well we're nearly there, it's nearly Christmas! The kids are getting so excited, opening their advent calendar first thing each morning to see what little picture is behind the door.  All my Christmas shopping is done, bought the last present today. So I've got some wrapping to do tonight, and also some more sanding and painting - I'm making the kids little wooden trees and houses to go with their train set, I didn't plan on being all crafty and making them myself, but I had something particular in mind and just couldn't find anything I liked.  I wish I had started earlier as the project is kind of dragging on seeing as the only time I can do them is in evening when they are both (eventually grrr)tucked up in bed.


We've been eating our pepperkake and trying to resist cutting into the Christmas cake, I'd like to save it till Christmas day. I popped out today to get ingredients to make some fruit mince tarts which will hopefully fulfill the craving for something spiced and fruity and keep the Christmas cake safe for a few more days. The kids made gingerbread houses at our homeschool playgroup, so much fun! And just as much fun to eat, but hmm, too many lollies for my liking, I stretched the eating of it over as many days as I could.  I would have liked to have made another bigger one but I don't think we will have time now - and use more dried fruit and nuts for decoration and less lollies. My sister is making one so I'm looking forward to seeing what hers looks like.  I found this amazing one which I've saved for inspiration for next year.

gingerbread house

gingerbread house

gingerbread house

Here is the Pepperkake recipe if anyone wants to make it. You can see the original recipe here on Tiny Happy, (I've basically just changed the type of flour/sugar and how I form the biscuits).

:: Pepperkake ::

- 1 cup wholemeal spelt flour
- 1 cup white spelt flour
- 1 cup barley flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp finely ground pepper
- 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 Tbsp ground ginger
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 90 grams softened butter
- 3/4 cup rapadura sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Grated rind of one lemon
- Icing sugar and lemon juice for decoration.

Mix the first group of dry ingredients. In another bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and egg until smooth. Then add the molasses, vanilla and lemon rind and beat well. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Divide the dough in half and put each half on a large piece of baking paper or glad wrap. Form a log with each piece using the paper to stop getting your hands all sticky. Fold the paper right over the dough and roll it into smooth log. Chill for at least 2 hours. Take the logs out and slice them up so that you have circles of about 1/2 cm thick.  The circles will get slightly flattened as you cut them so just reshape them slightly and put onto a greased baking sheet.
Bake at 180 degrees Celcius for about 10 minutes, or until nicely browned.
To make the white icing for decorating, mix some icing sugar with some lemon juice to make a smooth paste. Pipe decorations onto the biscuits once they are cooled.


Anonymous said...

The candy mice I mean!! Silly GG. Have to comment on the gingerbread houses with their crooked chimneys paths and quirky doors give them almost a storybook quality. They such fantastic constructions. GG

Anonymous said...

Love the houses!So totally child-like in the creation! They would have had sooo much fun making them.
Perhaps next time you could use some dutch liquorice or gummies? There are so many shapes and designs and colours in that range.Granma x

Anonymous said...

the houses look great! we didn't make one this year, but more fruit and nuts sound like a good plan for us for next year!

Liesl said...

Looks like you've been up to your ears in Christmas goodness! Hope you have a merry one. :)