Episode 1: Lauren's Showstopper Recipe - Gingerbread Pagoda

By Marisa Dabney | Nov 30th, 2015

Episode 1 "Cookie Week": Lauren's Showstopper Recipe - Gingerbread Pagoda


For the gingerbread dough:

• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 1.5 cups grandmas original molasses
• 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
• 2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
• 4 tablespoons ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1.5 cups unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cold, diced
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• 10-10 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + extra for dusting counter
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Caramel "cement":

• 2 granulated cups sugar
• 1/2 cup water

Royal icing:

• 1 pound powdered sugar
• Pinch cream of tartar
• 3 pasteurized egg whites
• 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
• Food coloring ( teal, red, green, black, and gold)

For landscaping:

• 2 cups unsalted room temperature butter
• 4 cups powdered sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• Pinch of kosher salt
• 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
• Food coloring (blue, green, brown)
• 3 cups light brown sugar
• Candy rocks
• Twizzlers
• Starlight mints
• Gummy fruit slices (red and green)
• Multicolored pareils
• Gold or silver dragee (sugar pearls)

For the Spritz Butter Cookies:

(for trees, bushes, fish, dragons, and lions)
• 1 3/4 sticks (7 ounces) Unsalted butter, room temp
• 4 ounces powdered sugar
• 2 large egg yolks
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
• 9 ounces bread flour
• Green, orange, yellow, and Red food coloring


For the gingerbread dough:

1. Preheat oven to 325F or 170C.

2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, molasses, and spices. Bring to a boil, whisking. Turn off heat, add in baking soda. Mixture will foam up.

3. Pour into a large bowl with the cold, diced butter. Stir until butter is melted and combined. Add beaten egg, whisking well. Knead in 5 cups flour, adding additional
if necessary to make a stiff dough. Chill in freezer for 15 minutes until cooled.

4. Roll out and cut all pieces for the pagoda and gates. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely, and assemble with caramel to construct.

For the caramel ‘cement’:

1. Bring sugar and water to a boil, shaking pan occasionally. Do not stir. When mixture turns golden in color, reduce heat and begin assembling. Turn off heat if color gets
too dark. Reheat on low, if necessary for consistency.

For the Royal icing:

1. Whip ingredients in mixer for 7-10 minutes or until peaks form. Color portions separately and place into disposable piping bags with fairly small round tips.

2. Decorate pagoda and landscape.

For landscaping:

1. Beat butter until fluffy, add powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and cream. Beat until combined. Divide and color into blue for the pond, green for the grass, and brown for
the path.

For the Spritz Butter Cookies:

1. Preheat oven to 365 F degrees (185 C).

2. Beat butter in stand mixer for 5 minutes until lightened. Add powdered sugar, mixing well. Add egg yolks, and extracts, mixing well. Mix in flour at low speed until
combined. Divide dough and color according to applications. Place in piping bags with star and round tips. Pipe animals and trees. Bake the thinner designs separately
from the thicker designs. 8-12 minutes, watching carefully for golden edges.

3. Let cool, decorate and add to landscape.


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