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Recipes from Baked: Amazing bakes to create with y...

Recipes from Baked: Amazing bakes to create with your child by Adelle Smith

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Adelle Smith, mama to one and mastermind behind the award-winning BKD baking workshops, shares festive recipes for all the family

Photography danannet.com

Christmas Gingerbread House

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! This is my contemporary and vibrant take on more traditional gingerbread houses. I designed this template to be geometric in shape. It’s super easy and perfect for little hands to construct.

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Ingredients
* 1 ½ batches gingerbread biscuit dough (see separate recipe)
* One batch icing
* Sweets of your choice for decoration (good ones include coloured chocolate buttons, dew drops, strawberry laces, mini marshmallows, edible silver or purple balls, chocolate sticks)
* Desiccated coconut (optional)
* Icing sugar and edible glitter, for dusting (optional)

Tools
* Piping bag
* Writing nozzle no 2 or no 3 (optional)
* Wooden rolling pin
* Templates
* Pizza cutter or sharp knife
* Baking sheet
* Baking parchment or non-stick mat
* Wire rack
* 23cm (10in) square cake board

  1. First, make the gingerbread dough (see the separate recipe), then make up the icing and put it in a piping bag. Cut a small hole at the bottom of the bag or use a writing nozzle in size 2 or 3. Set aside. Tip: remember to squeeze from the top of the piping bag.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Briefly knead your dough to soften it. Roll out your dough to a thickness of 5-7mm and use the templates and a pizza cutter (or sharp knife) to cut two rectangular sides and two triangles for the front and back of the house. Chill the pieces for 30-40 minutes to prevent them from spreading too much in the oven.
  3. Bake the triangles for 9-10 minutes and the rectangles for 12-13 minutes, or until golden.
  4. Remove the biscuits from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Then put the templates on top of the biscuits and trim away the sides with the pizza cutter where any spreading has occurred. This will give you a nice clean finish.
  5. Leave to cool a little more, then transfer to a wire rack.
  6. It’s easiest to do the main decorating of the gingerbread house whilst you have all the pieces flat. Attach the sweets using spots of royal icing. I like to add chocolate beans in rainbow lines to the roof, and strawberry cables as a door with a silver edible-ball doorknob. I then build the house and add the rest of the sweets after that. Use your imagination here – the options are endless!
  7. Once you have attached most of the decorations to your gingerbread house, you can put it together and add the finishing touches.
  8. Take the two rectangular sides and lean them up against each other.
  9. Pipe ample royal icing along the edges of the front triangle and secure to the inside edges of the two sides of gingerbread house. Ensure you get all the edges lined up straight. Allow to set for a minute or two before attaching your back triangle in the same way. Tip: if you find you need some extra support, you can use a small tumbler between the two sides to hold them.
  10. Pipe plenty of royal icing along the centre roof-line and add decorations. I like to use dew drops.
  11. Allow your house to firm up for 10–15 minutes. When it’s feeling firmly set, carefully move the gingerbread house on to the cake board. Attach the house to the board with royal icing. Add more decorations along the seams of the gingerbread house to neaten things up. I like to use fizzy strawberry laces (cut in half lengthways) and mini marshmallows, then add silver or purple edible balls. You can also add royal icing icicles. Heart-shaped sweets make cute windows.
  12. The cake board can be left undecorated, or covered with desiccated coconut and a sprinkle of shimmer sugar for a snowy effect. I also like to use chocolate sticks as a path. You’re done – ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!

Gingerbread Dough

Makes 12 large or 25 small biscuits.

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Tools
* Electric mixer
* Mixing bowl
* Measuring spoons
* Sieve
* Silicone spoon
* Cling film
* Baking parchment
* Wooden rolling pin
* Baking sheet
* Wire rack

Ingredients
* 130g unsalted butter
* 100g soft light brown sugar
* 300g plain flour, sifted (plus a little extra for dusting)
* 3 tsp ground ginger
* 1 tsp ground cinnamon
* 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
* 2 tbsp golden syrup
* 4 tsp water

What to do:

1. Cream the butter and sugar together for about 2–3 minutes until well combined. Start on a low speed and gradually increase. Don’t overwork.

2. Using a silicone spoon, stir in the flour, ginger, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, golden syrup and water.
Form the dough into a ball, knead lightly and flatten into a patty shape. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least an hour. If you’re in a rush, split the dough into two patties and pop in the freezer for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Place a piece of baking parchment the size of your baking sheet on the work surface and sprinkle over a little plain flour. Halve the dough and briefly knead to soften it, then roll it out to around 5mm thick. Sprinkle with more plain flour whilst rolling to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.

4. Cut the cookies into shape and lift away the excess dough. Leave the cookies on the baking parchment and transfer to the fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes. Chilling the cookies once cut prevents them from spreading in the oven.

5. Cut another piece of baking parchment. Take the dough you’ve not used yet, give it a light knead and mix it with the leftover dough. Repeat the same steps of rolling out and cutting cookies until it’s all gone.

6. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until golden. Bake cookies of roughly the same size together. Leave to cool a little, then transfer to a wire rack. Biscuits will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container.

Recipes reproduced from Baked: Amazing Bakes to Create with Your Child, by Adelle Smith (Orchard Books), £14.99; purchase here.

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