Gingerbread Wonderland is coming!
Soon it will be that special time of the year again at Norway House in Minneapolis with Gingerbread Wonderland 2022. It’s fun for the entire family, well worth trip to the Twin Cities!
The good news is that you don’t have to live in Minneapolis to participate in Gingerbread Wonderland. Norway House welcomes submissions from all over the country and the world. Why not share a special landmark pepperkakehus from your hometown or your favorite place in Norway. For information on how to submit your gingerbread structure idea, specifications, and deadlines, visit norwayhouse.org/gbw/bake. Winners of this year’s competition will be published on the websites of both Norway House and The Norwegian American.
When designing your gingerbread structure, here are a few things to keep in mind:
• The base of the structure must be less than 3 feet in length or width (so it fits through the door).
• To be eligible for the judged contest, at least 75% of the structure needs to be gingerbread and 100% must be edible (minus light decorations and baseboard)!
One recipe is good for one house approximately 4 inches x 6 inches x 8 inches in size, with some extra cookie dough for accessories.
Before starting your project, decide on a design and cut a pattern out of parchment paper.
1. Sift dry ingredients together:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. powdered ginger
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. cloves
2. In a large bowl, cream the following:
½ cup shortening
½ cup sugar
½ cup molasses
3. Add dry ingredients to creamed ones and mix until well blended. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 350˚. Roll out 1/3 of the dough at a time between 2 pieces of wax paper until it’s a bit less than ¼ inch thick.
5. Remove top sheet of wax paper and lay parchment pattern pieces on the dough, leaving at least ½ inch between pieces.
6. Cut around your pattern pieces and remove the leftovers (return the extras to the refrigerator for the next round).
7. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment. Flip the wax paper with all of the gingerbread pieces over on the cookie sheet and peel the wax paper off (reuse the wax paper).
8. At this point, you can fill windows with crushed candy pieces if desired, but be sure you don’t skimp (you don’t want the windows to be too thin and fragile).
9. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and trim any rough edges while hot (this will allow the pieces to fit together easily). Let cool until window candy is set.
Trust us, you’ll be sorry if you use anything but this recipe to “glue” your house together!
This is what you need to create your magic:
3 egg whites
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Beat egg whites to a soft peak.
2. Slowly add dry ingredients and vanilla and beat until you get peaks that stand up on their own.
3. Now go crazy and decorate your house/building with sweets!
This article originally appeared in the October 7, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.