You will usually be given a gingerbread recipe and a cooking method – but these are the secret tips that professionals use!
Add an extra 50% to the recipe so you are making 1.5 x what is suggests. Better to have left overs than have to make another batch. Keep any left overs for a rainy day, it freezes well.
When you are rolling out your dough – divide your mixture into 3 or 4. This makes it much easier to handle. Roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper until 4mm thick.
Place in the fridge to firm up for about 15 minutes. This will give you clean lines when you stand out your shapes.
Arrange your cooking cutters over the dough to check they all fit. Make sure you account for shapes that are required more than once!
Cook at 160˚C (not 170˚C) and bake for longer 25 – 30 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Note the smaller pieces will take less time to cook than the larger pieces.
When your shapes come out of the oven, they will have expanded – using your cookie cutters, re-cut your shapes so that you have straight lines. This must be done promptly as the cookies will start to firm up immediately.
When gluing the house, make sure your icing is as stiff as you can get it in order to be runny enough for your to pipe over your edges – this will reduce your waiting time and help avoid pieces slipping off!
Have plenty of props to help support your building work – tins cups etc..
Icing sugar and decorations are your friends, use them to cover any cracks or holes!
You will need LOTS of icing sugar – you may even want to sue rolled out fondant for the roof as well.