Last year, I bought a gingerbread house kit from the store and called it my most stressful decision ever. I nearly had a panic attack from working with wheat and dairy-filled icing. In the end, the gingerbread house was built with a hot glue gun and sat throughout Christmas on the far corner of my table - away from anything I would eat. This year, I wanted to put my Wilton skills to use (I took the first course and went from horrible to terrific very quickly) and that meant making a gingerbread house that could proudly take center stage on my kitchen table and I wouldn't be flipping out over touching a wheat-filled kit and then touching everything else in my kitchen. No gingerbread house is worth getting sick over!
Pamela's Products held the answer to my gf Christmas wish! Her website has a recipe that uses Pamela's Gluten-Free Bread Mix to create a gingerbread house! And it even included templates for the house! Before work one morning, I quickly mixed together my dough, using Crisco as my butter, and refrigerated it.
When I came home, I laid out some parchment covered cutting boards and got to work. Since I don't have wooden bars for consistent dough rolling (this is on my Christmas list, Santa!), I laid down two square chopsticks and was mindful of where they started to taper down. I cut out the templates with scissors and then gently placed them on top of the dough to cut out the shapes with a dough cutter/scraper.
Only problem was the paper was sticking to the dough! Since these were rolled out on parchment paper, I simply picked up the paper and flipped the dough over onto my parchment paper covered cookie sheets. Voila! Problem solved! The nice, smooth side was face up. The dough gave me just enough for the house and three small gingerbread trees. Before cooking my house, I used some stencils that my mom and I found (unopened) in her kitchen (similar to these) and drew out the shapes I wanted to draw in an attempt to minimize any free-handing the cake needed.
The pieces ended up baking for about 20-22 minutes. When they came out of the oven, there were several bumps in the dough. I've never done proper gluten free cookie cutter cookies so I don't know if this is normal, the dough, or me. The lumps are barely detectable now that the house has some distracting decorations on it.
This year, no glue gun was needed to put this house together! I made Royal Icing from Wilton's website (naturally dairy free) and used almost a dozen tips and three colors (white, red, and green) to decorate my house. I had a lot of fun putting this house together this year. The stress was off and I was in my element decorating with swirls and flourishes. Having the stencils imprinted with the designs helped immensely! All of the decorations were made from royal icing, so I had no additional labels to read. Wilton has been great about responding to my e-mailed requests about their products being gluten and dairy free - I know my colors are all safe for me!
Are you building a gingerbread house this year? Will yours be gluten free or gluten full?