Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Daring Bakers' December Challenge: Home for the Holidays & Gingerbread Houses

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

The December Daring Bakers' Challenge was announced just as we completed our gingerbread entry for the San Diego Epilepsy Foundation's Gingerbread City 2009. The theme for this year's competition was The Greatest Stories Ever Told.  We chose The Wizard of Oz and named our entry "Fondant the Yellow Brick Road."

I had every intention to create a smaller gingerbread structure for the Daring Bakers' Challenge.  I baked all my gingerbread pieces and started texturing the stone pattern I imprinted on the dough, with a textured fondant sheet, prior to cooking. 





At first, I did attempt Y's dough.  However, I found it very dry, difficult to roll, and prone to shrinkage.  The Daring Bakers' Challenge dough recipes and instructions can be found here.   I resorted to the recipe we used for the Epilepsy Foundation competition, which is very easy to work with, and very tasty!  Our journey down the Yellow Brick road started back in October, with this post.  Several other posts followed and you can check them out by going to the gingerbread label on my sidebar.

Here's my Daring Bakers' gingerbread inspiration photo of a beautiful, stone, Tuscan farmhouse



Ingredients for Y's dough recipe:  Flour, brown sugar, spices, baking soda and butter (plus 1/2 cup boiling water)



Mixing the dough









Wrapped and ready to rest in the refrigerator



Unfortunately, I was unable to assemble and complete my little Tuscan farmhouse, due to a case of gingerbread burnout (after spending close to two months on Fondant the Yellow Brick Road), and last-minute holiday shopping and cooking.

Therefore, although it was completed just prior to the announcement of the Daring Bakers' Challenge, I am submitting my Tin Woodsman's Cabin from our Fondant the Yellow Brick Road.



Using a template makes cutting the gingerbread pieces easy.  We made our template pieces from foam core poster board



Four walls, chimney piece and two roof pieces



Gingerbread logs, rolled and textured prior to baking



All the pieces ready to be assembled with Royal Icing "glue." I used a serrated knife to cut the logs to fit.



The chimney is covered with chocolate candy rocks



The windows are covered with edible frosting and gelatin sheets



The tin roof and window trim is made of fondant



The pine trees are made with fondant pieces, cut out with snowflake cookie cutters, textured with a rubber stamp cube with various leaf patterns, stacked and glued togethe with Royal Icing



Fondant the Yellow Brick Road, on display at the Epilepsy Foundation Holiday Gala, Grand Del Mar Resort & Spa, Del Mar, CA




After three years of gingerbread competitions, John and I are hooked on this holiday tradition.  It was a great idea for the Daring Bakers' Challenge and I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we do each year.  Thank you Anna and Y!

Please visit The Daring Kitchen and the Daring Bakers' blogroll for more gingerbread houses, and inspiration for next year!

23 comments:

Jill said...

WOW!! I love the textured building pieces and your tin man cabin is wonderful!! Beautiful details--and everything is just perfect! :)

Sue Sparks said...

AMAZING!!! So professional! I love the logs and how real they look! Phenomenal job!

I also love your newfies:)

Lauren said...

Oh my goodness! The fondant, the colours, the details! Its absolutely amazing =D.

Tia said...

holy crap! that looks amazing. i love the logs for the log cabin.

Francijn Brouwer said...

That is really, really beautiful, I love all the details and the professional designs. Congratulations!

Suzler said...

I love this so much! Really stunning. :D

Laura said...

beautiful!

oneordinaryday said...

Just gorgeous. Great job!

Janet Marie said...

Absolutely wonderful!!

Mary said...

The tree and the logs are both fantastic. Very rustic and realistic too!

LittleRed said...

love the log cabin:0 Just beautiful...and love the candy stones for the chimney too. Beautiful Job!

Gala said...

Your house is gorgeous!!!

veggie wedgie said...

This is SO impressive! I love the logs!

fabricatedends said...

This is amazing. Great photos.

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

I love both of them, even though the Italian stone house is only just baked in your pics. Love the idea of imprinting the dough before cooking.

Jane said...

Your cabin is just fantastic! Very, very cute take on a gingerbread house. Nice work!

peasepudding said...

Beautiful log cabin and I love your Christmas trees too.

Fuji Mama said...

Absolutely extraordinary!!

culinography said...

Wow!! Beautifully done!!

Namratha said...

Wow, the cabin is so good! Very neatly done.

Wolf said...

Adorable log cabin!

I so want to live in that Tuscan farmhouse in your book}:P

Lisa said...

I was thinking of doing a log cabin myself, but it NEVER would have looked as good as yours! I bow to one of the DB GB masters! SO well done and gorgeous! Happy New Year!

Angry Asian said...

whoa, this is absolutely beautiful and so well thought out. i love the textured pieces and your chimney looks awesome.