CHRISTMAS RECIPES

Bee’s plant-based gingerbread cookie cottage DIY

If you fancy some festive DIY, but need a recipe and set of instructions that are failsafe, then I’ve got just the project for you! This little gingerbread cottage measures around 1ocm cubed, so its a dinky, cute manageable size…albeit one that could just about be snaffled in one go…

Over the years, I’ve made thousands of gingerbread cottages for clients including Harrods and Selfridges and I feel confident that this is an achievable, failsafe recipe. The intricate decorations are totally optional — the house looks super cute just dusted simply in icing sugar, and there’s no pressure to make it look fancy.

I’ve mastered the art of a tasty, simple gingerbread cookie dough, that doesn’t need chilling before baking, won’t spread in the oven, and has a satisfying crunch too. Its a one-bowl wonder, without eggs or dairy, so great for kids with allergies, or those who follow a plant-based diet. This also means that for any little fingers that make it into the bowl, there isn’t the risk of a sore belly when eating the uncooked dough.

Have a try, hit me up with any questions in the comments below, or on @beesbakery on instagram, and let me know how you get on!

Bee.x

Bee’s plant-based gingerbread cookie recipe

For the biscuits: (makes enough for at least 2 gingerbread cottages)

Ingredients:

  • 280 g plain flour (for GF use 2/3 pre-mixed blend, 1/3 ground almonds)
  • 140 g solid vegan “butter” e.g. Naturli / Stork block, at room temp
  • 140 g muscovado sugar
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seeds, mixed with 4 tbsp hot water)
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp allspice / nutmeg

Method:

Mix everything together in a large bowl, or a stand mixer until you have a smooth, brown dough. If making ahead of time, allow to chill wrapped / in Tupperware in the fridge. Keeps for one week in the fridge and one month in the freezer.

To make the template:

On an A4 piece of card, draw out the following:

2 x roof panels measuring 7.5 X 5.5cm (see below, middle)

2 x side panels measuring 6.5 X 3.25 cm (see below, right)

2 x front / back panels measuring 7.5 X 7cm, with slanted points for the roof cut at 3.5cm. Add a front door by cutting freestyle keeping it little to ensure the house doesn’t crack / break.

To cut / make the gingerbread cottage

Preheat your oven to 175C and line a tray or two with parchment. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out evenly to around 0.5cm thick. Carefully cut around the outline of the cottage pieces using a sharp knife carefully then transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment. Bake for around 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness, until they are a little more brown at the edges.

Allow to cool and then decorate the house pieces using the thinner icing consistency below, in any design you like best. Allow to set overnight (or at least an hour) before assembling the house. In the picture, I’ve used green coloured desiccated coconut (think, easy, inexpensive, edible snow!), and then I’ve hand piped some roof details / windows just as examples using the thinner consistency of icing.

To assemble, use the thicker icing consistency. Cut a sharp, 3-4mm hole in the end of your piping bag / parchment bag. Using a wiggling motion, pipe a wiggly line along the inside edges and bottom of each gingerbread piece in this order: front, side, and side, back.

If your line doesn’t look pretty enough when you stick them together, just scrape off and try again. Gently place and press the pieces into place on your base.

Allow to set for a few minutes, then gently wiggle another thick line of icing all around the edge of the cottage foundation, and on the inside edge of one of the roof panels.

Gently put the roof in place and allow to rest for at least an hour, ideally overnight before moving / packaging up.

For the royal icing:

Makes enough to ice at least two houses, depending on the design. Keeps for one week in the fridge.

  • 500 – 520 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cornflour
  • 100 ml cup aquafaba (drained water from about a tin of chickpeas)
  • 1 tbsp. piping gel (optional)
  • 1 tsp. glycerine (optional)
  • food colours as required, gel or paste ones give an intense colour, but natural fruit powders e.g. spirulina work too.

Method:

Combine everything in a large bowl or a stand mixer and mix for around 3-5 minutes, until you have a thick, glossy icing. If needed, spoon in a little more aquafaba or icing sugar to get the right consistency. Store in an airtight container. 

Consistencies:

Add a little more aquafaba / icing sugar as needed:

  • to stick gingerbread house pieces together, aim for a very stiff peak, hard-to-mix consistency
  • to pipe clear and sharp lines, aim for a softer icing, that still holds its shape

Enjoy!

Bee x


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Comments (1)

lisa
December 18, 2019

this looks amazing – i’m going to try it – can i use regular butter instead of vegan butter?


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