Illustrating Hans Christian Andersen's well-loved story The Snow Queen, this gingerbread scene is a magical, festive centrepiece to behold.
• Mirror or tray for base
• Boy and girl cutters
• Tree and berry bush cutters
• Reindeer cutters
• Snowflake, star or other festive shaped cutters (for windows)
• Play clay
• Lasagna box with lasagna
The Snow Queen's Palace
• Gingerbread Dough
• Royal Icing
• Assorted clear, white or coloured candies
• Coarse white sugar and white sprinkles
• Tiny and medium-size silver dragées and mixedcoloured dragées
• Rock crystal candy pops (optional)
• Sugar cubes
1. On paper, draw grid of horizontal and vertical lines 2.5 cm (1 in) apart. Each square on pattern grid equals a 2.5 cm square on paper. Draw each pattern line onto corresponding square on paper. Cut out patterns. Remember: Cut two towers and reverse one.
(Note: You need cutters or create freehand versions of Gerda, Kay, reindeer, trees and bushes)
2. Between 20-inch (50 cm) lengths of parchment paper, roll out 1 rectangle of dough to 15- x 10-inch (38 x 25 cm) rectangle, a scant œ inch (5 mm) thick, trimming as necessary. Slide paper and dough onto rimless baking sheet; refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
3. Place palace centre pattern over paper on rectangle; with tip of small knife, cut out palace centre. Remove pattern and parchment paper. Using 3-inch (8 cm) snowflake cutter, cut out window; set scraps aside. Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven until slightly darker at edges and firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Let cool on pan on rack.
4. Meanwhile, repeat rolling out with second piece of dough, cutting out 2 towers, reversing 1 as directed. Repeat with third piece of dough, cutting gate and 2 tower supports, reversing 1 as directed. Using 1?-inch (4 cm) snowflake cutter, cut out windows in palace and gate; set scraps aside. Bake as for first piece of dough.
5. Meanwhile, press scraps together and reroll to scant œ-inch (5 mm) thickness. Using pattern pieces, cookie cutters or by hand, cut out sleigh, Gerda, Kay, trees, reindeer, berry bush, snowdrifts and snowflakes as desired. Bake pieces, as above, until firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Let cool as for palace pieces.
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• Using small palette knife, offset spatula or table knife, spread icing over palace centre except for peaked roof, leaving thin border at snowflake window. Let dry, about 20 minutes.
• Using small piping bag fitted with small plain tip or resealable plastic bag with 1 corner snipped off, pipe line of icing along edge of peaked roof. Pipe dots of icing to stick candies and/or small decorated gingerbread cutouts to palace centre. Let dry completely, about 4 hours.
• Place tower base on parchment paperâ€“covered baking sheet. Spread icing to cover below highest dome; sprinkle with coarse sugar. Let dry for 15 minutes. Tilt and gently shake off loose sugar.
• Spread icing over remaining base area under lowest domes; let dry for 15 minutes. Spread icing over domes, swirling or dotting icing or covering completely; sprinkle with silver dragÃ©es or coarse sugar if desired, letting dry as above.
• Pipe icing to trace outline or spread over any remaining domes. Pipe stripes or small dots and affix candies as desired. Let dry completely, about 4 hours.
• Spread icing over centre area of gate, leaving thin border at snowflake window. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and let dry, as for towers. Spread icing over remaining gate; let dry. Pipe icing to outline side areas of gate; affix silver dragÃ©es. Pipe dots of icing to stick candies and/or decorated gingerbread cutouts, as desired. Let dry completely, about 4 hours.
Trees, Berry Bush and Snowflakes
• Whisk 2 tbsp (25 mL) icing with a few drops of water to thin to paint consistency; brush over gingerbread to glaze. In small cake pan, combine coarse sugar and white sprinkles or silver dragÃ©es (or use individually). Press desired gingerbread pieces, face down, into mixture to coat. Let dry, face up, about 15 minutes. Pipe dots of icing onto berry bush to stick small red candies for berries.
Gerda, Kay, Sleigh, Reindeer and Snowdrifts
• Spread or pipe icing onto cookies and decorate as desired. Be sure to give Kay a heart. Let dry, about 15 minutes.
Crystal Spires (optional)
• Brush wooden sticks of rock crystal candy pops with thinned icing; roll in coarse sugar to cover. Let dry, about 15 minutes.
• Dab icing over tower supports. Place tower on top of each so short side of support lines up with outside edge of tower. Slide disc of play clay under tower domes to support; let dry, about 15 minutes.
• Place palace centre on rectangular mirror or tray and leaning onto box for support. Place towers on either side so higher domes overlap centre piece by about ÃŸ inch (2 cm).
• Using dabs of icing as glue, make 2 stacks of 4 sugar cubes each. Glue 1 to each tower piece at base, just under highest dome. Lean palace gates onto sugar cubes for support. Affix crystal spires, if using, against towers using dab of icing at top and bottom.
• For snowdrifts, ice and sprinkle with sugar as for towers. Glue together overlapping. Glue sugar cubes to back for support. Place at sides of castle, just overlapping edges.
• Glue 1 or 2 sugar cubes, as needed, to backs of Gerda, Kay, reindeer, sleigh, berry bush and trees. Let dry, about 15 minutes, using extra sugar cubes to support tops of cookies. Arrange figures around palace.
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