Holiday Recipes


Gingerbread farm

Ok, this is a project. Don't try to do it all in one day. Make the dough and cookies one day, then assemble and decorate the next day. Give yourself plenty of time to create a Gingerbread Farm so spectacular you may have trouble convincing your kids to eat it!

You'll need:
1 recipe Gingerbread cookie dough
1 recipe Royal icing
Melted sugar glue (see below)
12-inch (30 cm) square slab of styrofoam, 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick (for a base)
Cardboard pattern for barn and animals (animal cookie cutters can be used)
Decorating stuff galore: candies, pretzels, cereal, licorice, gumdrops, etc.

  1. Step one — create the building materials:
    Roll out the gingerbread cookie dough and cut around the cardboard pattern pieces to make barn sections and animals. This recipe makes enough for all the pieces, plus an extra each of roof, front and side. (I strongly advise you make extras of these large pieces because they can break.) Transfer pieces to the baking sheet very carefully using a wide spatula or piece of cardboard pattern. Bake pieces according to the cookie directions, then let cool completely before proceeding.
  2. Step two — assemble the barn:
    Have ready a few toothpicks (these will be used for temporary support, if necessary), the styrofoam base, and a batch of melted sugar glue.

    Working as quickly as possible, dip the bottom and side edges of one barn wall into the melted sugar and place it upright in position on the styrofoam base. Do the same with the adjoining piece, making sure it sticks together at the corner. Repeat until you have the four walls standing upright. Now the roof: coat the top edges of the barn walls with sugar cement and stick one roof piece in place. Do the same with the other roof section, securing them together with dabs of melted sugar along the top. Don't worry about drips, they're edible, and besides, you can hide them with icing later. Hang the barn doors and window shutters in place.
  3. Step three — decorate the farmyard:
    First build a fence. Use pretzel sticks to make a fence around the farmyard in front of the barn. Stick pretzels into the styrofoam as fence posts, then "glue" fence rails in place to complete the fence. Arrange the animals inside the farm yard, and decorate everything with icing and whatnot. A few suggestions:

    Use Royal Icing to decorate the house and to stick on candies or whatever else you're using. Drip Royal Icing from the edge of the roof to make realistic icicles. Marshmallows make very convincing snowmen (or sheep!) Chewy, green spearmint leaf-shaped candies make good bushes and shrubbery.
Melted sugar glue
Measure about 1 cup (250 mL) of sugar into a heavy skillet. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts and liquefies - about 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to ultra-low to keep the sugar glue liquefied throughout the construction process. Watch closely avoid burining, and be careful handling it because it is screamingly hot.

How kids can help:


Cut the dough into animal shapes or barn pieces.


Help assemble the barn - with adult supervision (the melted sugar glue is extremely hot and should be used with care).


Decorate the barn, animals and farmyard.
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Holiday and Flowers