A team of employees from Country Kitchen recently decorated and entered a gingerbread house into the local festival for judging. The festival is held at the History Center here in Fort Wayne. The annual gingerbread festival benefits the History Center and sees many participants, both in entrants and in visitors.
The team spent a total of approximately 12 hours assembling and decorating their house. They used a combination of decorating methods from piping royal icing trees, to airbrushing brick, and working with rolled fondant. The majority of the house was built with products that came from the store. When asked what their inspiration behind their house was, they commented, ” We wanted to have our gingerbread house represent not only our business but our personal passions as well.”
The team assembled an excellent house and ended up winning 2nd place in the professional division. Their winnings from the contest will be donated to the ‘adopted family’ that Country Kitchen is sponsoring for the Christmas season. Many employees had already purchased gifts for the family on their own, but the gingerbread money will help to provide a grocery gift card for this family. All those who helped decorate the house were pleased that their efforts would go towards helping a local family in need.
Part of the team’s success was using a great gingerbread house dough recipe. The recipe came from Theresa, an employee here at CKSA. It’s a tried and true recipe that Theresa has used for years when making her gingerbread house pieces. This recipe also works well for making ornaments for the Christmas tree.
Theresa’s Gingerbread House Dough
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbs. ginger
- 1 tbs. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°. In a small pan, cook corn syrup, brown sugar, and shortening over medium heat, stirring until smooth. In a large bowl, combine flour, ginger, and cinnamon. Mix well. Add corn syrup mixture, stirring until dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to a 1/2″ thickness. Bake 10 to 15 minutes; shorter time for ornaments and longer time for houses.
Note that while this recipe smells nice, the finished gingerbread is very hard and somewhat bland tasting. It’s best used for houses and ornaments.