Atlantic Cape News

Media Contact:

  • Chelsea Pizzi
  • cpizzi@atlantic.edu
  • 5100 Black Horse Pike
  • Mays Landing, NJ 08330-2699
  • College Relations Office
  • (609) 343-4907

Home for the Holidays: ACA Chef Shares Gingerbread House Recipe

December 1, 2010

What better way to celebrate the holiday season than by building a festive gingerbread house? This year, instead of purchasing a pre-baked kit at the store, start from scratch with this simple recipe from Chef Annmarie Chelius, chef educator at the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College.

Gingerbread Dough

Ingredients:

1 ½ lb. brown sugar

1 ½ lb. granulated sugar

1 ½ lb. margarine

1/4 oz. baking soda

1 ¼ oz. baking powder

8 oz. eggs (5 eggs)

8 oz. water

5 lb. bread flour

Method:

  1. In a bowl, cream sugars and margarine.
  2. Add the eggs and water.
  3. Incorporate the dry ingredients and chill for several hours.
  4. On a lightly floured board, roll gingerbread dough to ½ inch in thickness.
  5. Cut out templates for your house (cut out the windows and doors prior to baking).
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake the dough until it turns golden brown. Let cool.

 Royal Icing

Ingredients:

2 egg whites

½ tsp. lemon juice

8-12 oz. powdered sugar (depending on desired consistency)

Method:

1.  Place two egg whites in a bowl.

2.  Add ½ tsp. lemon juice.

3.  Slowly whisk powdered sugar until the icing is stiff.

4.  Cover with a damp paper towel until needed.

Assemble & Decorate

Attach the sides of the house to the front and back pieces with Royal Icing, and allow the walls to dry for at least two hours. Adhere both sides of the roof to the structure with icing and let the house dry for one hour.

·      Chef Chelius recommends using crackers, wheat crisps or pretzel sticks as delicious and healthy shingles. Attach shingles row-by-row with icing, allowing each row to dry for about 30 minutes before applying the next.

·      For the appearance of a snow-covered roof, spread Royal Icing on the shingles and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

·      Graham crackers can be used as a chimney when adhered to the roof and filled with cotton candy to resemble smoke.

·      Stack cinnamon sticks on the side of the house to form a wood pile.

·      Landscape your gingerbread house with fresh rosemary.

·      Garnish with raisins, apricots and fresh cranberries to create a rustic presentation.

·      Decorate with your favorite hard candy for a classic finish.

The ACA, located at Atlantic Cape’s Mays Landing Campus, has been training future chefs and food service professionals since 1981. For more information on the Academy, call 1-800-645‑CHEF, e-mail accadmit@atlantic.edu or visit www.atlantic.edu/aca.