This spooky project has no base, so battery-operated flameless tea lights can be placed inside to cast an eerie glow through the windows and door. Leave the edges untrimmed after baking to give the shack its run-down look – perfect for Halloween.
- Portion size 1 serving
- Credits : Canadian Living Magazine
Chocolate Gingerbread Cookie Dough:
Chocolate Gingerbread Cookie Dough: In large bowl, beat shortening with sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs, fancy molasses and cooking molasses. Stir in melted chocolate.
In separate bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, baking soda, salt, cloves and cinnamon; stir into molasses mixture in 2 additions, mixing well and blending with hands if necessary.
Divide dough in half and shape into discs; wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 1 week.) Makes 1 batch.
Royal Icing: In bowl, beat water with meringue powder until foamy, about 2 minutes.
Beat in icing sugar until stiff, about 4 minutes. Tint black with food colouring. Cover icing with damp cloth to prevent drying out. Makes about 11/2cups (375 mL).
•Let gingerbread pieces cool on a slightly sagging surface, such as your oldest cooling rack or very shallow curved plate, to enhance the spooky, run-down look of the shack.
•If you like, cut out small pieces from the sides, front and back of the shed before baking, to resemble holes in the wood.
Between waxed paper, roll out 1 disc of dough at a time to scant 1/4-inch (5 mm) thickness. Slide paper and dough onto baking sheet; refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
Peel off top paper. With tip of sharp knife, cut out pattern pieces according to diagrams below, rerolling and cutting scraps. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
Grouping like sizes together, transfer as many pieces as can fit, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart, to parchment paper–lined baking sheets.
Using sharp knife, score lines in front, back and side, and shed front and side pieces to resemble wood planks. Score lines in roof and shed roof pieces to resemble shingles.
Place hard candies in resealable plastic bag; using heavy pan, crush candies. Spoon into window holes for panes, leaving some spaces so glass will look broken when cooked.
Bake gingerbread pieces, 1 sheet at a time, in 325°F (160°C) oven until firm to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to rack and let cool.
Using piping bag fitted with plain tip, pipe icing along 1 short edge of back piece; attach to 1 side piece, propping with can to support. Pipe along 1 short edge of front piece; attach to side. Pipe along remaining edges of back and front pieces; attach remaining side piece. Let dry, about 30 minutes.
Pipe along top edges of back, front and sides; attach roof pieces. Pipe along roof seam to seal.
Pipe straight line along length of front roof piece about 3/4 inch (2 cm) from bottom edge. Attach roof overhang with widest edge out, propping with cans to support. Let dry, about 30 minutes.
Using icing, decorate doors, windows and roof as desired.
Using icing, attach 1 long side of porch floor to bottom edge of house front. Attach posts to roof overhang and porch floor, propping with cans to support. Let dry completely, about 4 hours. Prop door against shack.
Meanwhile, pipe icing along 1 long side of shed front; attach to short side of shed side. Attach remaining shed side; pipe along top edges of shed and attach shed roof.
Using icing, decorate shed as desired. Prop open back of shed against windowless side of shack. Let dry completely, about 4 hours.
Haunted Gingerbread Shack