I was trying to come up with a way to make our gingerbread houses into a post. Though they are rather cute, I highly doubt that gluing kit-kats together with royal icing constitutes a recipe! So instead there will be a juxtaposition in this post. Successful macaron recipe and attempts at gingerbread houses.
I'll give you a few guesses on the top left gingerbread house before I tell you what it is. No, it's not a shack from Deliverance. Guess again! Nothing Tim Burton whatsoever, though yes, there is some resemblance to his Hansel and Gretel project. Good guess! Try once more. Oh, and here's a clue....that gummy bear at the bottom that looks like he met the business end of a gingerbread Narwhal, he's meant to look like he's fishing. Oh, sad! You wasted your last guess on Tom Sawyer. Nope. ....okay, so I have no idea what you guessed, most likely it was far more entertaining that my guesses.
The real answer is Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Wright. Bonus points for creativity. This was Brandon's invention. The rest of us at our gingerbread house competition were a bit more traditional.
By traditional I mean that my roommate Julie and I made houses not out of architectural guide books. Julie made a good solid structure. She was not taken in by the guiles of our competition. No, no. She built the only house that was still standing by the end of the night. (Brandon, I ate your house's roof as soon as I saw your taillights. Sorries!). I on the other hand.........well...........
|Falling Water taken from this site|
Gingerbread Tips (that I learned from failure)
1. keep it simple people!
2. decorate the walls before assembling the house.
3. know what your completed house looks like. gingerbread puzzles are not fun. (I had to re-arrange the walls a few times before they were in their proper places).
4. re-cut all the walls after baking. they spread out and that's no good.
5. watch the weight of your roof! I used fondant to cover the roof. be wary!
After all that I have to now find a way to transition to the juxtaposed macarons. Ha. I'm not that great a writer. Not. Gonna. Happen.
These macarons were ones I made at my mother's house and took to the family Christmas dinner. I made them a bit "spicy" shall we say. Very flavorful. I used my Chinese Five Spice powder (
As adapted from Epicurious
2 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons water
Place yolks in a stand mixer. Bring 4 tablespoons butter and cream to simmer in heavy small saucepan. Gradually whisk hot cream mixture into yolks.
Stir sugar and 5 tablespoons water in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat and boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan so caramel will color evenly, about 10 minutes.
Slowly whisk hot caramel into yolk mixture, then whisk until smooth. Transfer caramel mixture to small bowl; let stand until no longer warm to touch about 1 hour. Whisk in remaining butter. Cover and chill one day prior to use.