This is our festive gluten-free gingerbread house with fresh fallen snow! Here in Northern California, we have to pretend we are snowed in. When I look at this gingerbread house, I imagine it's my little "It Crumbles Gluten-Free Lifestyle" workshop where I write blog posts to help others and develop new gluten-free recipes.
The last several years I've used the easy instructions from Pamela's Products. I altered the house recipe just a bit to make it dairy-free and substituted Earth Balance Buttery Sticks for the butter and water for the milk. Pamela's website provides the recipe, templates, and even a slide show on how to construct the house. It's really easy and great fun. Here's how I did it...
Gluten-Free Gingerbread House, Dairy-Free Too
The recipe and directions for making the house are directly from Pamela's gluten-free products, and I whipped up the simple classic icing from my old recipe box.
1 bag (3-1/2 cups) Pamela's Bread Mix (NO yeast needed)
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup molasses
12 TBSP Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
1 TBSP ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 TBSP water
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Use HEAVY DUTY STAND MIXER and paddle (I successfully used my hand-held mixer, but it took awhile for the dough to come together). In mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients. Add chilled butter (I used Earth Balance Dairy-Free Buttery Sticks) (cut into 12 pieces), molasses and water, and mix until dough comes together. Divide dough and roll to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick between two layers of parchment paper. Freeze for 15 minutes.
Print out and cut out Gingerbread House template pieces. Remove top sheet of parchment from frozen dough and cut out one house piece at a time. Spray paper template with non-stick oil before placing on dough. Cut around template, then remove paper pattern. Leave the cut out house piece on parchment and pull away excess dough. Trim excess paper around piece to about 1 inch, then transfer parchment and house piece to baking sheet. Multiple pieces can fit on one baking sheet.
Bake house pieces twice to dry enough for building a house. Bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes. Then turn off oven leaving pieces inside with door shut. Leave them to cool completely in the heat of the oven (3 to 4 hours). When cool, remove house pieces from oven, preheat oven again to 350ºF, then bake for another 10 minutes. Turn off oven with pieces inside with door shut, leave until cool. House pieces need to be very dry to hold up when building a Gingerbread House.
1 pound powdered sugar
1 to 2 egg whites (I used pasteurized liquid egg whites)
Gently pour powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 egg white and slowly mix. Gradually add a bit more egg white until you reach the desired consistency. The icing should be smooth enough to pipe and act as glue for the house. If the icing is too wet, add more powdered sugar. I used a plastic squeeze bottle instead of a pastry bag so my daughter could easily squish out the icing. Once you have assembled the house with the icing as glue, allow at least 30 minutes for it to harden before you start to decorate with more icing and candy, depending on how warm your kitchen is.
Many candies are now labeled gluten-free. However, I still read the ingredients list to be sure that the product is truly gluten-free. Many companies now use wheat syrup but because of the newer FDA labeling guidelines, these same companies can use wheat and still label gluten-free if it falls within the 20 ppm. This is a problem for some individuals.
I used the India Tree brand sprinkles as the company states they don't use any gluten ingredients, except for the "French Dragees."
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