Happy Christmas Eve everyone. I hope everyone is having a lovely relaxing day.
It started with a cranberry cinnamon roll and some pumpkin spice rooibos tea.
Like my new tablecloth and mats?
This was delicious! Years ago we went to Disney World for Christmas and on Christmas morning had a cinnamon roll for breakfast at the main street bakery. I wanted to try and receate that, as it was going to be our plan for this year. I used this recipe, only I left out the pecans (because I had none) and only made 1/4 of the recipe- I thought that 16 between the 2 of us might be excessive? Anyway it was so easy to make- last night I mixed up the dough (I used almond milk so they are also vegan), left it for an hour and a half, and then rolling it out and spreading with a little pure spread, brown sugar and cinnamon took another 5 mins. Into the oven they went this morning for 15 mins while I made the tea (in my Disney cup just to help with the theme).
Before being topped with a little maple icing.
Anyway, I thought they would be much harder to make but they were super easy, plus the cinnamon smells so good.
I have not done much today- I made my lunch for tomorrow (a sort of veg and lentil/ tofu bake topped with sweet potato mashed with some almond butter), and we managed a bit of a longer walk this afternoon. We have put up a few decorations (my paperchase reindeer, some nice candles and a ceramic tree with lights) so my gingerbread house is one of the few festive items! So here is the making of my gingerbread house.
Mix flour and spices etc together.
Melt butter (pure spread), brown sugar, golden syrup and treacle.
Mix together. At first it looks all wrong, but keep mixing.
Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for a bit/ overnight/ however long you would like.
In the meantime, decide on the design of your house. Cut out templates with baking paper. When you roll out the dough, place the templates on top and then cut around them.
Once they are cooked, leave them to cool for a bit before you make the house. They are soft when they come out of the oven so this is when I cut the door and window, but you need them to be hard before you build it.
While you wait for them to harden, use the left over dough to make cookies for gifts.
Then it is onto construction time. Royal icing is the best because the egg whites make it stick. In previous years I have made it from scratch, and also used the powdered egg white. This year I cheated further by buying a tub of royal icing- it was only 99p in Julian Graves so I thought I would try it.
I covered a cake board in silver foil so I could use the cake board again. Use the icing like glue to stick the bottoms down to the base as well as the sides.
I do the front and one side, leave it for a bit and then do the back and the other side. Then leave for a good 30 minutes.
The roof is the scary bit (especially this year as it turned out to be quite a steep angle). The icing does dry quickly though so do not worry. Of course then the fun begins. I was lucky enough to be sent some vegetarian sweets from Jealous so I decided (after sampling them) to have them as part of my decorating kit.
So get all your sweets together:
I also had jelly tots and some milky bar buttons, and the roof pebbles I made (but I did not use them as I was worried they would be too heavy for the roof).
Let the fun begin! Use the royal icing as glue again and decorate away.
I use the gummy bears as visitors to my house 🙂
A jelly tot for the door handle, plus to decorate the front. Milky bar buttons for the roof.
And some of the jealous sour sweets to frame the window at the back.
I love a gingerbread house as a decoration (read more about my obsession here) – they are different every year, plus they smell so good too. Anyone else with me on the gingerbread house love? I have seen loads of pre-made ones in shops this year, which look so pretty, but for me the fun is in the decorating! Ikea always did a kit too (with the pieces for the sides and roof etc ready baked) but I didn’t go to one near Christmas this year.
The Jealous sweets are really tasty- I got to try gummy bears (yummy), sour sensations (lovely and soft- a bit like the Goody peaches) and the cherry Kola (not my kind of flavour so much, but nice) and the best thing is they are all vegetarian, gluten free, with no artificial colours or flavours. Some of them are vegan and some are organic too so check out their website for more info. Plus they come in the pretty boxes so they are nice for gifts I think.
Right, I am off to have a Christmas Eve tea (salad, bread, wenslydale with cranberries, grapes, clementines, and maybe even a slice of Christmas Cake) and then hopefully to watch The Snowman , AKA the best Christmas film of all time.
Have a lovely Christmas everyone!