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Mini Gingerbread House Cookies: DIY Gluten Free Recipe for Beginners

Filed in: Food and Drink

I’ve been wanting to make these adorable mini gingerbread house cookies ever since I saw them on Pinterest. These cute houses sit on the rim of your mug or coffee cup. You’ve probably come across them especially when you’re searching for DIY Christmas ideas. As a Pinterest marketer it’s always exciting to see what the hottest trends are.

I am no expert in the kitchen that’s for sure. But I do love baking more than cooking. Hey I’m Filipino and it comes with having a sweet tooth.

My first recollection of making a mini gingerbread house cookie was when I was in grade 7. I really don’t bake on a regular basis since I avoid white sugar. Yeah, you can say I’m a health nut. But I wanted to make these for some special people that have been really good to my parents.

I made these mini gingerbread house cookies in two days because I baked the cookies in the evening but didn’t have the time to do the icing. If you want to make these all the same day you will need to start in the morning:) Well that would be in my case anyway since I’m such a newbie.

Must-Have Tools to Make Mini Gingerbread House Cookies

1. Mini Gingerbread House Cookie Cutter. I found mine on Amazon. I would have wanted a smaller size but I didn’t make the time to really hunt for one. I’m glad I started with this size because it was my first time making these. I can’t imagine making them even smaller since gluing these tiny houses requires patience. But it’s your icing that will save you if you do it right.
2. Mixer. I borrowed my Mom’s Kitchen Aid mixer. I told you I don’t bake:) But now that I hooked on making these cute houses I’m certainly going to get one.
3. Rolling pin
I didn’t have one either! So I used a rum bottle to roll that dough. Laughable right?🤣
4. 2 Cookie Sheets. I bought these at Wal-Mart online. I researched for the best cookie sheets on Google and this was recommended by so many experts.
5. Parchment paper
6. Plastic food wrap (like Saran wrap)
7. Frosting decorating kit. I found mine on Amazon. I bought these because I thought they would be easier that the traditional piping bags. But I’m not so sure because after icing 25 houses my hand hurt! I kid you not. It was sore for two days! My hands are not used to squeezing for that long. These silicone balls are thick too. I was hoping they could be as thin as rubber gloves but that was not the case. After 3 hours of icing the plastic bulb also came apart and so much icing gushed through the seam. I don’t know how that happened but bottom line I would not purchase these.
8. Digital kitchen scale ( a must with gluten free baking where the different flour blends can vary wildly in terms of weight per cup)
9. Silicone baking mat (optional)
10. Tweezers (for your sugar pearls and sprinkles)
11. Spatula 
mini gingerbread house cookies

Gluten Free Mini Gingerbread House Cookies

Makes: about 25 houses
Cooking time: 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3.5 cups (455g) Western Family Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour for cakes and cookies
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp ground ginger (optional)
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 3/4 (170 g) cup butter, or dairy free margarine suitable for baking
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar ( I use Stevia brown sugar since I avoid white sugar! You will need 1⁄4 cup + 1⁄8 cup Stevia brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • zest of 1 clementine
  • 1 tbsp clementine juice

TIP: Instead of measuring these different spices I bought a pumpkin spice that included all the spices (except ginger) and used 2 tsp. I’m all about making life quick and easy! 🙂 I didn’t use ginger just in case the taste was too strong for the gift recipients. But hey if you like ginger go for it since it’s great for inflammation!

mini gingerbread house cookies

mini gingerbread house cookies

Instructions

1. I recommend you weigh you gluten free flour versus using a measuring cup. Whisk the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, and spices together. Set aside.

2. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until smooth.

3. Add the molasses, egg, zest, and clementine juice, mix until well combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as you go.

4. On low speed add the flour mix a little at a time and scrape the bowl down as you go until it’s fully incorporated.

5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment.

7. I cut the dough into 4 sections since I didn’t have a rolling pin remember? You can decide how much you want to roll at a time since you want to roll the dough out in to about 1/8th inch thick. You’ll end up with more than 25 houses for sure!

8. Place your dough on a parchment. Place another plastic wrap on top of the dough, large enough so that you can roll out the entire dough into 1/8″.

9. Press the dough with your cookies cutters. Make sure they are about 1/2″ apart, otherwise the cookies will stick together. Gently pull the excess dough. Cut excess parchment paper and place it on the cookie sheet. These houses are tiny. When the dough starts to cool off they are really soft so  lift them gently with your fingers or they will not hold their shape. If you are a pro I’m sure you can probably think of an easier way to do it. But since I’m a beginner I’m literally figuring this out as I go through the steps.

10. Place cookies in the oven for 12 minutes. I would make sure you check the color after 10 minutes especially if the cookies are 1/8″ or less in thickness.

11. When cookies are done let it sit in the cookie sheet until it’s completely cool.

12. Next, it’s time to make the icing!

mini gingerbread house cookies

Royal Icing Recipe for Mini Gingerbread House Cookies

Royal icing is the edible “glue” that holds a gingerbread house together and can be used to make fancy sugar decorations. It’s the key to keeping your gingerbread house from falling down. There are many recipes out there that calls for meringue powder but most grocery stores don’t carry that item so I used this recipe instead.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup/3 large pasteurized egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Instructions
1. Combine the confectioners’ sugar, pasteurized egg whites, and cream of tartar in your Kitchen Aid mixing bowl.
2. Slowly turn the mixer to high and beat until the mixture is thick, very white, and will hold a peak. This should take at least 10 minutes. If the icing is still too soupy, add more confectioners’ sugar a little at a time. Don’t add too much, or the icing will be dry and hard to work with.
3. When done, cover with plastic wrap.
4. When ready to use, transfer to a piping bag and decorate.
mini gingerbread house cookies

How to Assemble and Decorate Your Gluten Free Mini Gingerbread House Cookies

1. Double check that your icing is stiff enough. I work slow so when the icing starts getting warm the icing somewhat expands on the cookie so I alternate between two my silicone bottles so I keep one cool in the fridge while using the other one.

2. I would decorate the cookies first and then glue them together to build the house. I found this to be the easiest. There are a total of 6 pieces for your mini house: the front and back of the house, the larger rectangular shape is the roof and the smaller squares are the sides of the house.

Once I determined the design I start icing all the roofs first, then the sides, etc. Obviously this will be a lot quicker if you did them in bulk versus doing one house a time. Wait for all your pieces to fully dry before putting the house together. I only waited one hour but if you want to play it safe wait at least 6-12 hours to fully dry.

3. I kept the decor simple and elegant which is why I didn’t use food coloring.

mini gingerbread house cookies

Summary
I really wanted to make something special that I could give as gifts because I believe something made from the heart means more. Just icing these 25 mini houses took me about 4 hours because it was my first time making these mini gingerbread house cookies or anything with icing. 🤣 It was fun and I’m definitely going to take it up a notch next year when I make it the 2nd time around. I hope you have fun making them as much as I did! Remember…they don’t have to be perfect! Just enjoy the process and take your time. This is something you can’t rush.
mini gingerbread house cookies

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