On the 2nd Day of Holiday Cheer, k2 gave to me…

a classic gingerbread recipe!

Yes, the recipe is traditional and royal icing is no treat, but the holidays are all about tradition and spending time with those you love. The ladies at the studio want to inspire you to take a new twist to an old ritual. Why not create more than just a gingerbread house? Why not create something grander… This year for k2 studio’s holiday cookie party, I made furniture – including a grand piano.

Traditional Gingerbread

150g unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup (125ml) golden syrup
1/2 cup (110g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups (450g) plain flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg, lightly whisked
!. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large oven trays with baking paper.
2. Place butter, golden syrup and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Add bicarbonate of soda and stir to combine. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl. Set aside to cool.
3. Sift flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and baking powder over butter mixture. Add the egg and stir until combined. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Divide dough into two portions. Shape each portion into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 45 minutes or until firm.
4. Roll one portion between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Using a 6-7cm Christmas pastry cutters, cut shapes from dough, re-rolling scraps. Place on the lined trays, 3cm apart to allow for spreading. Repeat with remaining gingerbread portion.
5. Bake in preheated oven, 1 tray at a time, for 8 minutes or until just firm to touch. Remove from oven and set aside on trays for 5 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Now you have one of your DIY materials and you can decorate with icing from the store, or continue to search for the perfect glue. As I stated earlier, it’s not the most delicious frosting, but royal icing does the job when it comes to keeping things together for gingerbread creations. A client from the studio heard I was trying to make gingerbread furniture and told me that baking chocolate works just as well. Melt the chocolate, use as spackle, and let it dry! It’s always nice to have options…

Royal Icing

2 large egg whites, or more to thin icing
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, or more to thicken icing
Juice of 1 lemon
3 drops glycerin
Beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar, lemon juice and glycerin (if using); beat for 1 minute more. If icing is too thick, add more egg whites; if it is too thin, add more sugar. The icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

You can create works of gingerbread architectural wonder or a statue of Rudolph, but always be merry. One of my creations was a gingerbread Younger Smith sofa, which fell apart in my car. I shrugged it off, and you should do the same at any minor seasonal setbacks. T’is the season to not let a little mishap spoil your pudding!

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