Gingie! Gingy! Whichever is the way you say it, gingerbread is awesome, and making a gluten free house is so much fun. I recall decorating one when I was a kid. I helped my niece and nephew make one a few years ago and was a little jealous, so last year I found a recipe and used my 1:1 gluten free flour mix to create a gluten free gingerbread house at home. (Link to my 1:1 gluten free flour recipe)
I found this recipe at Simply Recipes for "how to make a gingerbread house" and substituted out the flour. The Mike made the pattern cutouts with cardboard from the dimensions and sample pattern in the recipe link. That was one of the reasons i liked this link and pattern, as it gave suggestions. The Mike did make some modifications to the layout this year based on last year's construction. Namely, we varied the chimney measurements, and we added a cutout gingerbread base as well, so we could move it around while making.
Michael's craft store had Wilton gingerbread decorations earlier this year and I managed to get some while I could. I say that because today we were running out of the mini gumdrops and sought out more at Michaels. Today, the section was depleted of most decorations.
Another thing to mix up the decoration was that instead of making my own royal icing from scratch this year, I just bought the Wilton's box mix, used my Kitchenaid and added water. I put a piping/icing bag in a Weizen beer glass to fill it with the royal icing mix. This glass shape worked well as the to of the bag easily folded over the edge of the glass. Ironically, this glass is used for "wheat beers".
The Mike got to roll out the dough. I still have problems with my wrist from the car collision two years ago. (FYI: Don't slam on the horn if you think the dude running the stop sign is going to clear the intersection). Mike rolled out the dough, and used the cardboard pattern pieces he made to measure and then cut with the pizza cutter. It made a LOT more sense, and a quicker process, than cutting out with a knife.
We cut the dough into quarters and then used a quarter of the dough at a time, to keep the other fresh. We also bought those Wilton rolling pin edges for rolling to a certain measurement. That was faster than last year measuring with a ruler!
After baking came making :-) First we had to fix the foundation problem, as the base broke when I was removing the parchment sheet from the cookie sheet. It slide off the cooling rack. #Oops ! Thankfully it happened on the bottom piece and not the pieces. I prepped the jelly roll pan with the large piece of aluminum foil for easy cleanup in the new year. The Mike called himself the Construction Contractor. I piped in the mortar and he smoothed into the joints. #Teamwork.
The royal icing has egg whites in it and allows for great adhesion. After constructing the sides, we left the house alone for an hour or so to firm up. Then we added on the roof tiles. We put small bamboo skewers in from the roof down to the interior to hold the pieces in place for setting up. Last year we used tin cans and that worked, but we liked this better. When it was dry, we removed the skewers and frosted over the holes :-)
Windows on, roof decoration, side decoration, then icicles The ridge vent was decorated, then the front. I smoothed frosting over the aluminum foil and covered with unsweetened coconut flakes from Trader Joe's. I bought the Brachs regular size gumdrops for finishing off the decor.
While Wiltons and Brachs don't say "gluten free" specifically, they are not made with gluten. They are made in a factory that also processes wheat, but that disclaimer is voluntary for a company to add--so if it's not there and it's not labeled gluten free, there's no guarantee the item actually is gluten free. I say this as a disclaimer, because I feel comfortable using Wilton decorations for this house but I know other Celiacs may not feel the same.
The recipe does make extra dough which is great in case you break a piece. We left that dough alone until after everything was baked, and then I cut out bells, trees, angels, camels, and gingerbread men.
Happy Holidays from The Quirky House to yours.