December 24, 2016

Make Your Own Gingerbread House | Day 3 自製薑餅屋

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The back of our gingerbread house

Dear readers, this is the last day!  I have to admit it, this little gingerbread house took longer to do (and a caused a bit of nervous hair tearing) than I thought it would...but what can I say, it was worth it.

There's nothing quite like a house made completely of candy and cookies, not when I was a little girl reading over and over again the fairytale of Hansel and Gretel and the little candy house they found nestled in the woods, and not even now when I'm all grown up and seen, well, lots of strange and wonderful things.  

When my little girl and I finally finished our little gingerbread house and it was sitting so pretty on our was just the feeling of magic...I felt almost as if we were transported to that fairy forest, looking through the trees, eyes big with wonder, peeking at a house delightfully  and completely made of candy, with a wicked wee witch hiding inside...

Make Your Own Gingerbread House | Day 2

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We're making a Hansel and Gretel inspired gingerbread house!  This is Day 2 of our step by step guide to making your own gingerbread house where we construct the gingerbread house from the gingerbread shapes baked on Day 1.  It's house construction time!

Check out our previous post Make Your Own Gingerbread House | Day 1 to find the recipe for gingerbread dough, our downloadable gingerbread house templates and step by step instructions for making and baking the dough, .  

To find out how we decorated the candy house and get tips on which candies make the best decoration please see our next post Make Your Own Gingerbread House | Day 3.

Make Your Own Gingerbread House | Day 1

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My favorite time of the year, Christmas season, is near to hand and, inspired by that age old Brothers Grimm fairy tale, we made a Hansel and Gretel themed Gingerbread House!!  Do you remember the part in the original tale where the brother and sister, abandoned in the woods and very hungry, find a life sized gingerbread house:

"On they walked and walked, til suddenly they came upon a strange cottage in the middle of a glade.

     'This is chocolate!' gasped Hansel as he broke a lump of plaster from the wall.

     'And this is icing!' exclaimed Gretel, putting another piece of wall in her mouth.  Starving but delighted, the children began to eat pieces of candy broken off the cottage." 
~Hansel and Gretel from Grimm's Fairy Tales, 1812

December 6, 2016

Almond Nougat Candy

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Okay, I seriously like nougat a lot...a very a lot.  It's so festive!  And yummy.  Every once in a while I will splurge on prettily wrapped bags of nougats to nibble on,  bags that empty way too quickly into the tummy of the nearest nougat addict.  (Umm...that would probably be me.)  

The problem I found was that I always wanted to eat a LOT of nougat, darnit that honey scented soft fluffy whiteness interspersed with the nutty crunch of roasted nuts makes it just simply irresistible and addictive.  So I figured if I wanted to eat a LOT of nougie maybe I should try to make some at home and pig out standing in the comfort of my own kitchen.  

But then I got discouraged cuz there was a lot of stuff in nougat making like sugar 'crack' stage and glucose syrup and so on and I thought, meh...this is too hard.  (I've been struggling with sugar work...more on that later.)  

But then...then I found a classic nougat recipe that was really simple and straightforward to make, only three ingredients! and a bit of time.  With this traditional recipe I made my own Almond Nougat Candy (just in time for wrapping up as gorgeous homemade Christmas gifts!  After I nosh my way through the first batch, that is...) and what can I say, it's soooo yummilicious!  Gosh darn it, this freshly made nougat, just soft enough to be deliciously chewy, really beats the socks off anything you can buy in the stores!