while stuck in the sweltering reality of durham’s 98 degree heat, i’ve found myself entertaining reveries of winter days spent in minnesota – what i would give to be taking a long walk through freshly fallen snow, or climbing up the first few icy rungs of a grain silo’s ladder!
i’ve built a little fantasy farm with gingerbread buildings, coconut snow, and rosemary trees. i usually like to go all-out when decorating things, but i took a more conservative approach here, using sugar pearls and powdered sugar instead of gumdrops and candy canes. i wanted to keep it simple, and i think i succeeded. i really like how it turned out.
- i started out by drawing templates on cardstock for the different structures – i wanted a barn, a house, a shed, and two silos. you can decide how ‘to scale’ you want yours to be; i didn’t put a whole lot of time into it, and that’s why the shed and big silo are the same height.
- i used molly’s gingerbread recipe. it’s GREAT. the cookies barely spread beyond how they’ve been cut. for the walls of the buildings, i cut the bottoms flat right after they’d come out of the oven, but other than that you don’t have to worry about trimming them after they’ve been baked.
- for the silos: find cylindrical containers that you can wrap with hot dough and a few small heatproof ramekins. cut rectangular strips and circles of dough and bake them. right after the cookies come out of the oven, gently pick up a rectangular strip and mold it around the container. place a circle and put it into the ramekin. repeat to make other silos. leave them until they set, then unmold and assemble.
- i used molly’s royal icing recipe. it’s tasty, and also hardens like cement.
- the snow is coconut and powdered sugar. the ‘gravel’ path is crushed pretzels.
go crazy with this! it doesn’t have to be a farm! hell, make a gingerbread amusement park! with gingerbread rollercoasters!