From brownstones to iconic homes to the New York City subway, we can’t seem to get enough of tasty gingerbread architecture here at Inhabitat. If you’re looking to get in on the gingerbread game yourself this holiday but want to start small, we’ve got an easy and adorable recipe that will have your guests squealing with glee. These teensy tiny gingerbread house mug huggers may be mini, but they pack a big punch when it comes to getting friends and family into the holiday spirit. Plus they’re just the right size for
breaking apart and dunking into your coffee, tea or hot chocolate gobbling up in one bite.
I first discovered the concept of mini gingerbread mug toppers when my sister spotted them selling for $10 a pair in the Anthropolgie catalog. Smitten but unwilling to cough up $5/sq. inch for gingerbread real estate, I decided to try making my own version. A quick search on the internets revealed this very helpful tutorial on Not Martha, which I modified slightly below.
Gingerbread Cookie Dough Ingredients
(click here for a vegan version of this recipe)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Coconut shreds, peppermint candy shards, powdered sugar and other decorations (optional)
3/4 cup of Sugar in the Raw liquid cane sugar
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
Vegan Royal Icing Ingredients
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons Sugar in the Raw liquid cane sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon almond extract
Making your gingerbread houses
Step 1: First combine your dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix together.
Step 2: Add the liquid cane sugar, brown sugar and butter to a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter is all melted.
Step 3: Pour your butter mixture into your flour mixture and mix with a spoon or spatula until a dough forms. Then use your hands to mix until the dough has an even consistency.
Step 4: Cover your dough and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Step 5: After your dough is chilled, remove it from the fridge and roll it out onto a large piece of foil. It should be about 1/8 inch thick.
Step 6: Print and cut out either Not Martha’s template or the slightly smaller version we made using hers, and use the pieces to cut shapes out of your dough. Collect the scraps between your pieces and roll them out again to make more house parts.
Step 7: Bake your house pieces at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until they’re golden brown.
Making your icing
Step 1: In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and water until smooth.
Step 2: Add the liquid cane sugar and almond extract until your icing is smooth and glossy. If the icing feels too thick, add more water.
Step 3: Pour your icing into a piping bag or make your own piping bag by cutting a small hole into the corner of a ziploc bag.
Assembling your gingerbread mug toppers
Step 1: First, let your gingerbread house pieces cool for 10-15 minutes after you take them out of the oven. Then place one of your “house” pieces down on a flat surface and pipe two lines of icing along either side of it and stick one of your “wall” pieces on so that it creates a 90-degree angle with your house piece. Repeat this step by sticking another wall piece to your other line of icing.
TIP: If your wall piece is not secure or keeps falling down, try making your icing thicker by adding more powdered sugar. You can also flatten the edges of your wall pieces down by rubbing them together to create a straighter edge.
Step 2: When your two wall pieces feel secure and not shaky, pipe two more lines of icing onto the edges. Then lay down another house piece to form the 4th side of your gingerbread house.
Step 3: Flip your house over so that it’s standing on its base and pipe two more lines of icing onto the roof edges. Pop your roof pieces on top.
Step 4: Decorate with icing, coconut flakes, pieces of candy, sprinkles or any other embellishments you’d like. Let the icing harden for about an hour.
Step 5: Finally pour your friends some hot cups of their favorite holiday beverages and pop your mug huggers on top to serve.
Hat tip to Not Martha for hooking us up with her handy mini gingerbread house template!
We hope you enjoyed this recipe. Please don’t be shy about sharing pics of your own gingerbread mug huggers with us on our Facebook page.
Photos: Yuka Yoneda