In preparation for our new book, which will be available in just a few days, we wanted to add an updated recipe for a gingerbread house. In our first book, ‘A Celebration of Gluten Free Baking’, we featured a small traditional gingerbread house, which was very easy to make. This time we wanted to honor the Southwest traditions and build a two-story pueblo-inspired house, complete with vigas, the traditional chili pepper ristras and furnished with lights. Southwest cuisine, in general, is known for its indulgence in spices.We adapted the recipe to reflect this, still keeping with the traditional spices, but in larger quantities. Our gluten free flour blend was also updated, leaving out one type of flour and adding another. I think we succeeded. The consistency and flavor is just like the one my grandmother used to make, and her recipe was not gluten free.
Our house filled with the most wonderful aroma of baking delicacies around the holidays. The recipe itself is quite straightforward. All you need is a willingness to do it. It is especially fun to do this with children.
All parts used are edible and completely gluten free, except for the wooden skewers (unless you are a beaver) which represent the vigas and also allow for the main frame support of the house.
All the gluten free decorations are from surfsweets (gummy fruit), yummy earth (lollipops), Glutino (pretzels and pretzel sticks), as well as dried fruit and sliced almonds. You can easily find all of these ingredients at your local health food store, or, at this online retailer. We embellished the house with a couple of items from our local Hobby Lobby dollhouse section, because we just couldn’t reign in our ever increasing enthusiasm with this project.
The most complicated part involved threading the LED Christmas lights through both stories of the house. But once the lights shone through the parchment paper lined windows, all the perceived difficulties quickly dropped into the background.
Once the icing was in place, we were only limited by our own imagination and/or the availability of gluten free decorations. The trees and bushes were created from juniper tree and lavender bush clippings from our property. The pond from glossy construction paper, lined with almonds. The little ducks we found at Hobby Lobby, together with a broom, ax and wood pile.
In the spirit of sharing, we agreed to display it at the Tijeras, New Mexico community library as part of their yearly Christmas display. The project was all the more worthwhile, seeing the wonder and excitement in the little kids’ eyes, once they got to explore the display. If you happen to live in the greater Albuquerque/Santa Fe area, go on over and take a look and let us know what you think.
As I am penning this post, the snow clouds have gathered all around and it is now snowing quite heavily and very cold outside, around 21°F.
At last we wanted to share this beautiful view from our kitchen window. This is one of the perks of living at a high elevation here in New Mexico.