Shetland Croft Gingerbread House with Fair Isle Pattern Decoration
This Shetland Croft style gingerbread house is made using a (slightly adapted) Norwegian pepperkakehus recipe given to me by my Norwegian mother-in-law. It's a delicious, sturdy, easy to work with gingerbread recipe.
Combine the flour, spices and baking soda in a large bowl.
Whisk the egg and caster sugar together until light and fluffy.
Melt the treacle and butter together and allow to cool slighty. Add the treacle and egg mixtures to the dry ingredients and work well with a wooden spoon until combined into a soft dough.
Pop the bowl of dough in the fridge for an hour or so to chill, and then divide into three even sized discs. Wrap in each disc in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge overnight.
Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 180 C fan/ 390 F.
Roll out each disc of dough on a sheet of good quality non-stick baking paper using a lightly floured rolling pin.
Cut out your gingerbread house pieces, and remove the excess dough around them.
Transfer the baking paper with the cut out pieces (leaving the gingerbread untouched) to a baking sheet and bake in the centre of the oven for 12 minutes.
Leave to cool for a few minutes on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the icing, combine the icing sugar with the egg white. Transfer to a piping bag and decorate each of the components of the gingerbread house as desired. You'll need two batches of icing if you're going to pipe designs all over it as I have. Colour your front door red, in Shetland style, if desired.
Leave overnight to harden before assembling, starting with the four walls and finishing with the roof and chimney. Leave several hours of drying time in between assembling the walls and each of the roof pieces. You might need to prop up half of the roof with something and leave it to dry before adding the second half.
Finish off with the chimney, and sprinkle the roof join with some crushed up sugar cubes to resemble snow.