Episode 1: Ainslie's Showstopper Gingerbread Beach House Recipe

By Marisa Dabney | Nov 30th, 2015

Episode 1 "Cookie Week": Ainslie's Showstopper Gingerbread Beach House Recipe

Ingredients:

For the Caramel Syrup:

• 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
• 3/4 cup water
For the Royal Icing:
• 4 lbs confectioner’s sugar
• 8 oz pasteurized egg whites
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup water
• Blue food coloring gel
• Forest Green food coloring gel
• Holiday Red food coloring gel
• Yellow food coloring gel
• Black food coloring gel

Decoration Items:

• 1 lb green fondant
• 1 lb brown fondant
• 4 lbs white fondant
• 4 lbs yellow pastel fondant
• Blue pearl dust
• White pearl dust

For the Gingerbread:

• 6 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 3 cup dark brown sugar
• 1 1/2 cup light molasses
• 6 tablespoons ground cinnamon
• 6 tablespoons ground ginger
• 3 tablespoons ground cloves
• 6 teaspoons baking soda
• 12 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup water

For the Chocolate Sugar Cookies:

• 1 cup unsalted butter
• 2 cups superfine sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
• 6 oz Hershey’s Dark chocolate, melted
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 4 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the sand + porch support - Candy Striped Sugar Wafer:

• 8oz egg whites
• 2 cups granulated superfine sugar
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• ½ tsp Kosher salt
• 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• Holiday Red food coloring gel

STEPS:

1. Make gingerbread dough.

2. Make wafers // cook wafers.

2. Make sugar cookie dough.

3. Cut out gingerbread shapes.

4. Cut out sugar cookie shapes.

5. Bake cookies & gingerbread.

6. Make royal icing & decorate.

7. Cut out fondant designs & decorate.

8. Make caramel sauce.

9. Assemble it all!

Directions:

1. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth. Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough. Wrap dough in plastic, separating into flat discs, and chill for at least 30 min.

2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix sugar and butter on medium for 1-2 minutes. Mix in egg, espresso, and vanilla, beat for another 1-2 minutes. Scrape side of bowl then add in melted chocolate and mix until combined. Slowly add in dry ingredients on low speed. Mix until incorporated, then form dough into discs and wrap in plastic. Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven 400 degrees F / 204 degrees C. Combine egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment; beat on medium until foamy. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt; mix until just combined. Add butter, cream, and vanilla; beat until combined. Transfer 1 cup batter to a small bowl; set remaining batter aside. Stir in red coloring until desired color is reached. Transfer tinted batter to a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip. Secure end of pastry bag with rubber band; set aside. Place a 3-by-6-inch rectangle (cut out a stencil to use as a guide) on a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of plain batter into the rectangle; spread with a small offset spatula. Repeat. Pipe diagonal tinted stripes onto each rectangle. Bake cookies until pale golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Immediately loosen edges with a spatula, and
flip cookie over. Starting from one long side, roll cookie into a stick. Place seam side down, on a clean work surface; let cool until set. Quickly repeat with second cookie. Reserve 1 ½ cup white batter to bake for 15minutes, and then process in food processor to create “sand”.

4. Preheat oven to 375 F/ 190 C. Remove gingerbread dough from fridge. Roll out onto parchment lined cookie sheets, and cut out template shapes. Bake in oven for about 12-15 minutes (depending on size of pieces). Mostly just want to make sure they feel firm! Repeat until all pieces are finished.

5. Make sugar cookies! Turn heat down to 350 F / 177 C. Remove chocolate sugar cookie dough from fridge.

6. Roll out onto parchment-lined cookie sheets, and cut out template shapes. Bake in oven for about 12-15 minutes (depending on size of pieces). Mostly just want to make sure
they feel firm! Repeat until all pieces are finished.

7. Make royal icing! In large bowl of stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat on high speed until frothy. Add powdered sugar in slowly, and mix on low speed
until it is incorporated. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer icing to different bowls and add different food colorings as necessary. Once mixed, place icings into piping bags.

8. Cut/roll out fondant designs and decorate. Airbrush where needed. Use royal icing for more intricate decorations.

9. Make caramel sauce! Bring sugar and the water to a boil in a medium saucepan; reduce heat, and simmer until thickened and light brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plastic
squeeze bottle and use immediately to glue together house pieces.

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