DIY Gingerbread Copenhagen

This year I decided to make a cityscape candle holder. I chose Copenhagen, a city that is close to my heart, and made buildings inspired by those there. I drew them freehand on the gingerbread dough, mainly from memory, so I’m probably the only one who recognizes Marmorkirken and Magasin! But it was a superfun build, and it adds so much cozyness to our December.

This also functions as an advent candle holder where we light one candle each Sunday, but I wanted to show you how it looks like with all four candles lit. I made little windows with sugar glass and it looks especially lovely when the candles have burned down low and you can see through the windows.

 

 

 

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Is our national holiday a gingerbread day?

Dec 6th is a common gingerbread baking day here in Finland. For me personally our Independence Day has been a day without that many traditions. That all changed a couple of years ago when we decided to make that day our Gingerbread House Making Day along with the family of my bestie. Since then we spend that day having so much fun together, and both kids and adults produce the most amazing creations.

These are from a few years back. Last year my eyes ached too much so I couldn’t take pictures, and least of all edit them, but it was superfun all the same! I like documenting things here on the blog, but simply putting phone pictures onto IG stories has its own charm. It sort of fits with the gingerbread theme of beauty in the moment.

Happy 2nd Advent everyone, and here’s to celebrating Finland tomorrow, with candles and gingerbread and whatever you choose!

 

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Gingerbread season

Gingerbread season is upon us, and the house is filled with the scent of ginger, cloves and cinnamon! These days I don’t even need to make the dough myself – my kids are volunteering, and bake cookies almost every day, and we love it!

I made my first gingerbread house when I was 13 years old, and there hasn’t been a year since that I haven’t made at least one. But this year might be an exception – I’ve only made a candle stick so far, which technically is made up of houses, but 2D not 3D houses. Similar to these ones on the picture above, only with less color. Those in the picture are perfect to make if you don’t want to create a whole house! Just cut out a house, ”paint” it with icing the way you want and ”glue” it on a gingerbread cookie.

I love all things gingerbread! although I leave the eating to the rest of the family 🙂 we have so many cookie cutters that I can’t keep track of them, but still I find myself making cookies like the ones in the picture above – made with a simple template, and simply decorated to look like wintery mittens.

There’s something magical about gingerbread, and the sense that this is something to be enjoyed in the here and now. It is of the moment, for the moment, and for making magical memories!

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The Fairy House of 2019

This has to be one of my favorite gingerbread houses! I made it two years ago, and I loved every minute of it!

I usually start planning my houses already the previous Christmas, but then when November hits I get a spur of the moment idea, and I do that instead. This was much easier and more fun to make than what I had previously planned.

I did a blog post about how I constructed this house, and I do think I have the templates for the house somewhere on my computer, but because of my eye issues I don’t use my computer visually that much – it takes a large toll on my health to even write this blog post. But if anyone wants the templates, write a comment and I’ll find them for you!

Truth is, it’s not that difficult to make if you know how to construct a simple house.

And when you know the basics, you can construct almost anything!

I love gingerbread houses, they’re one of my favorite hobbies, and I love them in all shapes and sizes – elaborate ones, simple ones, fancy exact ones, or sloppy childlike ones, like mine mostly are.

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Allt om Pepparkakshus – a page for us who adore gingerbread houses (in Swedish)

Immediately when Halloween is over, my fingers start itching for baking gingerbread cookies and houses. A few years back I realized I wanted to chat with people around this particular interest, so I set up a Facebook group – Allt om Pepparkakshus. And I love it! We’re not a big group, but everyone who is in it loves gingerbread houses and looking at pictures of gingerbread houses and there is so much knowledge in that group, it is amazing! I love it that I’m just a plain member (even though technically I’m admin) – I get so much new information and tips, from people who know way more than me, and so much inspiration!

Today I’m starting off gingerbread season with some freehand houses (hopefully!) and some other gingerbread projects that I’ve been itching to do.

If you too love gingerbread houses and know how to write in Swedish, you’re very welcome to join our small community!

 

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The gingerbread house that was

one of the things I love most about gingerbread houses is that they are made for eating.

And one fine day when the feeling is just right, the house gets smashed and ruined!

Edible art at its best, and it wouldn’t be so delicious if it wasn’t for the fact that it has been standing there looking pretty and enticing.

A reminder of how fragile everything is – we just see the destruction of some things a little bit quicker.

And there is something beautiful also in ruins!

The gingerbread ruin – not made to be a ruin, but that’s how it turned out!

And I kind of like it. It makes room for us to make another house next Christmas. The little tomte has definitely moved out! But I have a suspicion he, and his friends, might move back into our house in ten months’ time or so!

 

 

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Älvhuset med mallar

Jag tror älvan och tomten som bägge bor här har det himla roligt! Det lyser på kvällarna och köket liksom känns som att det har en så härlig stämning nuförtiden!

Jag botaniserade i en godisaffär innan jag gjorde huset och hittade så härliga godisar som såg ut som blommor.

Såhär har jag löst problemet med en ljusslinga – jag skar en öppning i bakre gaveln och trädde ljusslingan igenom.

Fönstren glimmar härligt mysigt när det är mörkt!

Takpannorna kommer inte att bli särskilt spännande för mina ungar att äta, men dekorationerna på takåsen! Pärlemorfärgade lakritsbollar. Och geléhallon!

 

Känns vintrigt och juligt, också då när det regnar ner utomhus.

Här kommer mallarna om någon annan känner sig hågad att baka mitt pepparkakshus: (och om du gör det så skulle jag jättejättejättemycket uppskatta om du mailade mej eller skrev en kommentar här! Det är så himla roligt att få ta del av andras pepparkakshus tycker jag!)

 

P.S. På Facebook hänger vi som gillar pepparkakshus i gruppen Allt om Pepparkakshus – välkommen med du också!

 

 

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DIY Gingerbread House – The Fairy House 2019

This year I wanted to try something new – to make a wonky rooftop that you sometimes see on Fairy Houses (made for the garden, or such). But this one turned out not wonky enough, and it might be inhabited by a tiny tomtenisse! We can see lights twinkling from inside the house at night, and he has even made sure there is candy left around the house for any helpful nice child that might pass by…!

The roof shingles are made out of gingerbread. I just cut out strips about 1 cm wide, and then cut them using a ruler (not as a measuring device, but as cutting – it as a long edge so you can cut long stretches with it).

I decided to try to bake the roof parts using some cardboard to prop them up. This turned out to be quite unnecessary! If I do this kind of roof again, I’ll just bake the parts as they are and then prop them up on some support like this when they’re cooling.

The parts for the roof ready to go into the oven.

The idea was to make them a bit wonky, to make this sort of woodsy feel. As I said, this was quite unnecessary!

I made windows out of cooking sugar plus water until it was about 150 degrees Celsius. I then poured it into the gingerbread windows (I had lined them with some aluminum foil beforehand)

If you stir the sugar when you boil it, it becomes crystallized.  Makes for really lovely gingerbread house windows!

This is from when the sugar was still hardening. It still looked translucent, but when it hardened it turned more opaque. A nice sort of frosty quality.

I placed the shingles above the door while the icing was still wet.

After decorating the sides of the house I used royal icing to glue them together. I propped them up with drinking glasses.

This is a good way to let the house set, and not having to stand there for hours yourself holding the whole thing together!

I placed an extra glass inside the house, just in case the roof would turn out to be too heavy for the construction. I also placed a string of fairy lights around the glass.

This is me gluing the roofparts together! And yes, I did need to stand there pinching them together for a while!

Not too long though – the weight on the roof was still mostly on the house parts, so I perhaps had to stand there pinching them for about five minutes.

Then I lay the shingles on the rooftop! …and noticed the house was looking less wonky. I had used far too thick shingles, but there you go – you never know how a gingerbread house will turn out. Sometimes the dough rises a lot, and since I’m no baker or chemist I have no idea why that happens!

The house got some nice snow in the form of some icing sugar. And then the house was ready for its inhabitant to move in!

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