Baking & Desserts

Gingerbread birds and birdhouses

Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden Author: Canadian Living Credits: Photography by Yvonne Duivenvoorden

Baking & Desserts

Gingerbread birds and birdhouses

Gingerbread Birdhouses and Bird Ornaments
This recipe makes enough dough and icing for 12 cardinals, 12 blue jays, 12 doves and 36 birdhouses to decorate the tree or give as gifts. To make different combinations of birds and houses, you’ll have to develop your own amounts of icing.

You’ll need a small plain tip or paper piping cone for all the piping required.

You will need:

Between waxed paper, roll out 1 disc of dough at a time to 1/4-inch (5 mm) thickness. Peel off top paper; refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. With 4-inch (10 cm) cookie cutters, cut out shapes for cardinal, blue jay and dove. With tip of knife, draw then cut out birdhouses as shown (approx 4- x 11/2-in/10 x 4 cm; 3- x 2-in/8 x 5 cm; and 2- x 2-in/5 x 5 cm). Reroll and cut out scraps.

Slide dough and paper onto baking sheets; refrigerate until firm, 20 minutes.

Transfer gingerbread pieces, as many as can fit 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart, to parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Using straw or skewer, poke hole in tops to thread ribbon. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in 325°F (160°C) oven until firm to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to rack; let cool.

How to make Gingerbread Cardinals
Tint 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the icing golden yellow. Tint 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the icing black. Tint cup (75 mL) of the icing red; remove half of the red icing and tint darker red using a drop or two of black food colouring.

Step 1: Using piping bag fitted with small plain tip or paper piping cone, pipe yellow icing to outline beak. Add up to 1/2 tsp (2 mL) water, a drop at a time, to remaining yellow icing to thin to pouring consistency; flood beak with thinned icing.

Step 2: Pipe black icing to outline mask and feet. Add up to 1/2 tsp (2 mL) water, a drop at a time, to remaining black icing to thin to pouring consistency; flood mask with thinned icing. Place 1 dragée in mask for eye.

Step 3: Pipe light red icing to outline cardinal body. Add up to 1/2 tsp (2 mL) water, a drop at a time, to remaining light red icing to thin to pouring consistency; flood bird body with thinned light red icing.

Step 4:
Pipe dark red icing to outline wing. Add up to 1/2 tsp (2 mL) water, a drop at a time, to remaining dark red icing to thin to pouring consistency; flood wing with thinned icing. Sprinkle wing with red coarse sugar; shake off excess. Let dry completely, about 1 hour.

Makes 12 cardinals.
How to make Gingerbread Blue Jays
Tint 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the icing black. Remove 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the icing and set aside for white. Tint 1/3 cup (75 mL) of the icing royal blue; remove half of the royal blue icing and tint darker blue using a drop or two of black food colouring.

Step 1: Using piping bag fitted with small plain tip or paper piping cone, pipe black icing to outline beak, eye, neck and feet. Add up to 1/2 tsp (2 mL) water, a drop at a time, to remaining black icing to thin to pouring consistency; flood beak, eye and neck with thinned icing. Place 1 dragée for eye.

Step 2:
Pipe white icing to outline face and lower body. Add up to 1/2 tsp (2 mL) water, a drop at a time, to remaining white icing to thin to pouring consistency; flood face and lower body with thinned icing.

Step 3:
Pipe royal blue icing to outline peak of head and tail. Add up to 1/2 tsp (2 mL) water, a drop at a time, to remaining royal blue icing to thin to pouring consistency; flood peak of head and tail with thinned icing.

Step 4: Pipe dark blue icing to outline wing. Add up to 1/2 tsp (2 mL) water, a drop at a time, to remaining dark blue icing to thin to pouring consistency; flood wing with thinned icing. Sprinkle wing with blue coarse sugar; shake off excess. Let dry completely, about 1 hour.

Makes 12 blue jays.

How to make Gingerbread Doves
Remove 2 tbsp (25 mL) from 2/3 cup (150 mL) white icing and set aside.

Step 1: Using piping bag fitted with small plain tip or paper piping cone, pipe some of the remaining white icing to outline body. Add up to 1/2 tsp (2 mL) water, a drop at a time, to remaining icing to thin to pouring consistency; flood body with thinned icing. Let dry for 30 minutes.

Step 2:
Using piping bag fitted with small plain tip or paper piping cone, pipe reserved 2 tbsp (25 mL) white icing to outline wing, tail and eye. Sprinkle with white coarse sugar; shake off excess. Place 1 dragée for eye. Let dry completely, about 1 hour.

Makes 12 doves.

How to make Gingerbread Birdhouses
Tint 1/3 cup (75 mL) of the icing brown.

Step 1: Using piping bag fitted with small plain tip or paper piping cone, pipe brown icing to outline or decorate houses as desired. Sprinkle with seeds or decorate with fruit. Let dry completely, about 1 hour.

Makes 36 birdhouses.

Comments
Share X
Baking & Desserts

Gingerbread birds and birdhouses

Login