Friday, December 21, 2007

Some things I've learned about gingerbread in the last 2 1/2 hours:

Bethie and I are going to a gingerbread house party tomorrow (which I think is endlessly funny: it's a house party, right? But it's a gingerbread house party. What tunes do you bring to that? The elves be gettin' funky, yo) and after dinner tonight we started making pieces for our gingerbread house out of the dough I'd oh-so-thoughtfully made and chilled last night.

Alas, I'm a novice at this. But, thankfully, a quick study.
  1. The great elastic-band-over-the-rolling-pin-to-roll-dough-out-to-the-perfect-thickness slide thingies that you gave your husband 'cause he's enamored of That Man and His Cooking Show? They're great. Just have the husband put them on the rolling pin, 'cause they have a mean snap.

  2. Don't try to roll out large construction-ready slabs of house and then transfer them to the cookie sheet. Roll everything out on the back of the cookie sheet. Or, better yet (I love this solution), use the elastic bands on the rolling pin and roll out the dough on a Silpat, cut the dough, and transfer the Silpat to the cookie sheet.

  3. After you learn Rule #2, above, make sure to redo the first gable end piece you cut out, somehow peeled up off the counter with a pastry blade (which you own thanks to the husband and his Food Network obsession with That Man), and baked. Sure, it looks nice, but it's an inch shorter than it should be. Getting it onto the pastry blade squished it.

  4. But the squished piece doesn't have to go entirely to waste/waist. It happens to be just the right size to cut two trees from. Even with a rather dull-edged plastic cookie cutter. (We now own a set of eight Christmas-themed cookie cutters, a dollar store find. I have quite a few more dollar store finds that are going to make it into the girls' stockings. Beth was sitting in the cart playing with the 30 or so tins we'd picked up to put homemade hot chocolate mix in, and Sarah's oblivious to everything but trying to kick off her shoe, and I snuck lots of good stuff onto the bottom part of the cart without them noticing. I think.)

  5. A pizza cutter doesn't leave messy edges like a serrated knife does. (And it contributed to a major flashback to high school sewing class, when I first used a rotary cutter to cut out a pattern. Bliss.)

  6. And I knew this one before, but:
  7. Gingerbread dough ALWAYS tastes better than the cookies. Mission accomplished, then, because I introduced Beth to gingerbread dough and she loooooves it. "Can I have another window, Mommy?"

Okay. Off I go to take the right-sized gable end piece out of the oven. And to cut out a door, and some more trees, and some chimney pieces.


Robyn Kailiponi said...

You'll definitely have to post a picture of the final product! BTW could you send me your homemade hot chocolate mix recipe? I seem to have misplaced the one you gave us last year.

Jessie said...

hehe sounds like you had lots of fun:) Hope you guys had a nice Christmas!! We miss you too! Have a great New year's!

Rebecca said...

I am impressed!! Thanks for the the tips! Maybe next year.

Em Russ said...

Ahh!! Pizza cutter... what a fabulous idea! I have a tip for you, roll your dough out on some aluminum foil and then just peel the extra pieces away. Then you can just lift it onto the back of the cookie sheet!

And the rubber band idea... genius!