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If you’ve upped your baking game during the pandemic, it may be time to go for the gold—build a holiday gingerbread house! And no, we’re not talking about the 10-dollar grocery store kit kind.
ABC11 morning anchor Barbara Gibbs started creating the holiday houses five years ago; she’s got a talent for gingerbread baking and building but says she still has much to learn. “I am truly a beginner, and there are wildly talented gingerbread artists and I admire them greatly, “ says Gibbs. She credits her success to “some crazy good gingerbread friends” and their tips, which she shared with us below.
- Use construction grade dough
Instead of using traditional gingerbread dough recipes—which can be more fragile—there is a “construction grade” gingerbread dough that is perfect for building, but not for eating! It gets hard as a rock and will hold up when you want to make a sturdy piece. Google “construction grade gingerbread dough” and you’ll find various recipes online.
- Use clear, edible glue for a clean finish
Using “Royal Icing” is the traditional way to glue gingerbread pieces together but it can be messy or very difficult to achieve a clean final product. Many gingerbread artists use a clear, edible alternative (as many competitions require ALL ingredients be edible). I am not at liberty to give the recipe (gingerbread experts are extremely proprietary) but I’m absolutely convinced googling ‘edible Tylose glue’ will find you various recipes online. (Tylose is a powder used to make sugar pastes).
- Make ginger friends
For those interested in the world of gingerbread (and it’s a huge and fascinating one), there’s a Facebook group called “Gingerfriends.” Submit a request to join the group and you’ll see all kinds of conversations, photos, help, tips and discussions.
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