gingerbread house, vegan.

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

Since the challenge recipes are not vegan I opted to use a vegan gingerbread recipe that I’d had my eye on for a while, posted here on the Veg News site. Now, while this Sticky Fingers recipe is rather delicious, I think it may be better suited to drop cookies than cut-outs or houses. It is very, very sticky. I increased the flour by 1 and 2/3 cups to be able to handle the dough enough for rolling out and cutting out shapes.

It was my husband’s brilliant idea to use the lid of a sugar canister as a template. I let him go to town with his mathematical thing as he twisted the canister lid this way and that over the dough to get the angles just so. If you look closely, you can see the canister imprint on the large pieces that make up the front and back.

We wanted to keep the house tiny since neither of us had ever made a gingerbread house before and we were also fairly unsure as to how our vegan royal icing might fare versus gravity. Speaking of icing, we used this recipe that Vegan Dad was kind enough to share on his blog – and it worked very well. We used toothpicks to help hold the roof to the walls while it dried overnight and I’m happy to say the house did not collapse come morning when we removed them.

The entire house is edible. The house structure is made entirely of gingerbread, six pieces in total, glued together with royal icing and embellished with an inordinate amount of dairy-free chocolate chips, vegan gum drops, black licorice, sour chews, candy canes, candy pearls, hard candy, sprinkles, more royal icing, vegan buttercream, shredded coconut, and sanding sugar. A nut strudel doormat (my husband’s idea) completes our edible abode.

I dare say it’s going to taste rather delicious when we ultimately tear into it. It smells amazing. And who knew Batsy loved coconut?

Happy Holidays to all those celebrating – and best wishes to all for a wonderful New Year.