Creative kitchen-and-all-other-things extraordinaire Megan from Not Martha infinitely inspired me with her creation of tiny gingerbread houses that perch on the edge of one’s mug. In addition to a mix for great gingerbread, and mouthwatering icing, this recipe requires a pretty chunk of time. But let me tell you, every minute of those hours are worth investing! You are baking a small village, after all. If you have a night to spare to make these most excellent mini masterpieces, then pull out your creative kitchen tool kit, and put your baking hat on!
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
1 ½ teaspoons coarsely ground salt
2 large eggs
1 cup unsulfured molasses
1. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Put softened butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a â…›-inch thick or slightly thicker. I took Megan’s original PDF template for cutting out each single piece of a house, and adapted my own PDF template for efficiently laying and cutting out multiple houses at once. I didn’t have a dull sewing pattern roller to cut my shapes out (as suggested by Megan), but found that a knife cut through the gingerbread just fine.
5. The original directions also note additional steps, such as freezing the dough longer before baking to maintain thinner results. I tested out a simpler version by simply cutting the shapes out, baking them, and was very satisfied with the results! The only difference you may encounter is the occasional too-poofy piece of gingerbread (Which ends up making a great taste-tester!).
6. Once in the oven, bake the gingerbread until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. You can let them cool on wire racks, or, I used some spare cardboard that was going to be recycled as my cooling surface.
7. Last but not least, if you’re feeling like a master gingerbread architect, you can whip up your own icing with this recipe that calls for only three ingredients. I’m not going to lie, I totally just bought a pre-made tub of cream cheese flavored icing – it’s my favorite!
8. As for the roof decorations, I garnished them with classic sprinkles, miniature candy-coated chocolate drops, and my favorite, large flaked coconut.
Whether you have a gathering of five or fifteen, every minute you spend making these mini gingerbread houses will be worth it. We’d love to hear what you have up your sleeves – are you making any outside-of-the-box crafts or recipes for your guests?