This year, consider opting for a whimsical rocking horse rather than a traditional gingerbread house. It's a full afternoon's activity and children will delight in decorating it. Leave it on display throughout the holidays. Build the horse on a foil-lined inverted jelly roll pan or large cake board. Use the extra dough to make cookies, or freeze it for up to one month.
- Portion size 1 serving
- Credits : Canadian Living: Holiday 2012
MethodDownload the pattern for the Gingerbread Rocking Horse.
Enlarge patterns photostatically to make grid of 1-inch (2.5 cm) squares, or enlarge pattern by squaring method as follows: On parchment paper, draw grid of horizontal and vertical lines 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Each square on pattern grid equals 1-inch (2.5 cm) square on parchment paper. Draw each pattern line onto corresponding square on parchment paper; cut out.
Dust gingerbread with flour. Between waxed paper, roll out 1 disc at a time to 1/4-inch (5 mm) thickness. Peel off top paper; refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
With tip of sharp knife, trace pattern pieces and cut out from dough, rerolling and cutting scraps. Slide dough and waxed paper onto baking sheets; refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
Grouping like sizes together, transfer as many gingerbread pieces as can fit, 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart, to parchment paper–lined baking sheets.
Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in 325ºF (160ºC) oven until firm to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes for small pieces, 20 to 25 minutes for large pieces.
While still warm, replace patterns and trim gingerbread support triangles to size if necessary. Let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 24 hours.)
Fill piping bag fitted with medium plain tip with some of the icing. Pipe along short edges of support triangles A and B. Attach both pieces, 3 inches (8 cm) apart, with slanted edges closest to you and with B on the left, to foil-lined base, propping with cans or large jug. Let dry completely, about 1 hour.
Mane: Pipe 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick line of icing onto reverse side of head. Attach 1/2-inch (1 cm) end of each of 24 licorice whips beside one another in icing, angling 4 toward nose to make forelock and spreading other ends over work surface. Pipe icing over attached licorice ends. Attach C to secure mane.
Tail: Repeat piping icing at tail end of body using remaining licorice and securing with D.
Let mane and tail pieces dry completely, about 1 hour. Fold licorice to front and trim as desired.
Pipe thick line of icing along bottom of curved rocker on body, front edge of B and halfway up front edge of A. Attach body to triangles, propping with large jug. Let dry completely, about 1 hour.
Pipe along bottom neck edge of head and remaining edge of A; attach head to triangle. Let dry completely, about 1 hour.
Using remaining icing and assorted candies, decorate as desired. Let dry until firm, about 3 hours.