The Great Gingerbread House Building Tradition

In the early days of my partnership with Markus, he described to me his family's tradition of building gingerbread houses. He spoke about it with such joy that I had to make it happen. I got a wonderful Finnish gingerbread recipe from my friend Miki, which we've carried along with us all these years, through our children's childhoods and now, nearly, into their adulthood. Most years we make time and space for this all-consuming multi-day activity, and most years it's a wonderful creative experience. I documented a little of the action this year as my kids and their cousin Evan designed and built this wonky house-on-a-spoon creation.

Sometimes the kids make their own dough, but this year they were busy hunting the wild tree so I made the dough ahead of time. When they returned, they sat around planning their build, and then making paper templates. They cut the many pieces they needed into the rolled dough, and spent the evening putting trays of cookies in and out of the oven. This thickly-rolled, gluten- and sugar-free, molasses-rich dough takes ages to bake, so they even had to finish some baking in the morning.

Next morning: gluing it all together with royal icing (our version is vegan-keto - egg replacer and powdered erythritol).

Building and decorating...

Ta da! A wonky house on a teaspoon!

They used maltitol-based diabetic candies to melt in for windows on the upper level of the house, and lit it from the inside with bicycle lights.

And then, because these are 21st century kids, they all hopped on their phones to Instagram their creation.
Merry Christmas!

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