Christmas Blog Hop—Still Moments Publishing
Today is the last day of Still Moments Publishing week-long promotion of the newly released Christmas anthologies—Christmas Magic and For The Love Of Christmas. Anthology authors will continue promoting throughout the month.
My story, Wishes Come True, features a heroine whose family has owned a bakery in the small town of Dorado, Texas for 45 years. Tora wants something outside the confines of the Sugar ‘n Spice shop, outside of the city limits and intends to sell the shop and explore. Until she is distracted by a handsome widower, Ryan Dawson, who has returned to raise his 5-year-old daughter in Dorado.
One of the scenes includes a class where Tora teaches parents and their children how to make a gingerbread house. I had so much fun researching various recipes for this story. I just wish I’d had enough time to try out them all.
3/4 C butter
7/8 C packed dark brown sugar
1 t lemon zest
1-1/2 T lemon juice
½ C molasses
3 C all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1 T ground ginger
½ t cinnamon
2t ground allspice
6 egg whites
4 (16 oz) boxes confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- First cut out templates in thin cardboard of the desired sized house. Templates for a4.5”x8” house: a side wall, 4 1/2 x 8 inches; an end wall, 4 1/2x5 inches; a triangular gable, 4 1/2x3x3 inches; and a roof rectangle, 4 1/2x9 inches. Tape the rectangular end wall piece to the triangular gable piece: match the long side of the triangle, 4 1/2 inches, to one of the 4 1/2 inch sides of the end wall. For bigger houses, remember to have the roof template 1” longer than the wall piece and the long side of the gable piece to match the side wall.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and molasses. Gradually beat in 2 eggs. Sift the flour, baking powder, and spices together; stir into creamed mixture. Wrap dough in parchment paper, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 6 portions, 2 slightly larger than the others. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the 4 smaller pieces to approximately the size of the side wall and the end wall with gable templates; cut out two of each. Roll out remaining dough, and cut into two rectangular roof pieces. Transfer gingerbread onto greased baking trays.
- In a preheated 375 degree F (190 degrees C) oven, bake gingerbread for 10 minutes, or until crisp. When removing from the oven, leave the gingerbread on the baking trays for a few minutes to set, then transfer to wire racks. Leave out overnight to harden.
- In a large bowl, lightly whisk 2 egg whites. Gradually beat in approximately 5 cups confectioners' sugar. The icing should be smooth and stand in firm peaks. Spread or pipe a 9 inch line of icing onto a cake board (or aluminum foil-covered cardboard), and press in one of the side walls so that it sticks firmly and stands upright. If necessary, spread or pipe a little extra icing along either side to help support it. Take an end wall and ice both the side edges. Spread or pipe a line of icing on the board at a right angle to the first wall, and press the end wall into position. Repeat this process with the other two walls until they are all in position. Leave the walls to harden together for at least two hours before attaching the roof. Spread or pipe a thick layer of icing on top of all the walls, and fix the roof pieces in position; the roof should overlap the walls to make the eaves. Pipe or spread a little icing along the crest of the roof to hold the two pieces firmly together. Leave overnight to set firmly.
- When ready to decorate, make the remaining icing. In a large bowl, lightly whisk 4 egg whites, and mix in remaining confectioners' sugar as before. Use this to make snow on the roof, and to stick on various candies (M&M, red hots, gumdrops, licorice strings, shredded coconut) for decoration. Finish with a fine dusting of sifted confectioners' sugar.
Be sure to visit the other authors on today’s blog hop to increase your chances at the prizes.
CONTEST: Subscribe to this blog and/or follow my fan Facebook page to be eligible for my prize drawing of a free download of this title. (if you are a subscriber, please leave a comment) in addition, all who leave a comment on this blog will be entered in the publisher’s giveaway involving jewelry and free downloads. Still Moments Publishing contest details