Yes, I joined the Daring Bakers, which was graciously hosted by Anna of VerySmallAnna and Y of Lemonpi. It was a perfect month to complete my first challenge. I’ve never made a gingerbread house – and trying to figure out how to make one sugar free sent me for a tailspin. My first thought was to raid the sugar free candy aisle though I don’t eat malitol and it’s not my baking style at all. After e-mailing about the challenge with fellow Daring Baker and friend, Alta of Tasty Eats at Home, I decided to go all natural. This approach created the perfect little gingerbread cottage.
The gingerbread is made with amaranth flour, a recipe from I Love Dessert. (If you missed my review of this book, you can read it here.) The pattern is here. I didn’t have any structural issues at all – no shrinkage, no warping. I didn’t ask author Nicolette Dumke if I could republish her recipe, so I can’t share it. Sorry. I’ve made many of her recipes and they’re all so good – even my ‘normie’ husband loves them. If you’re sugar free, gluten free, have food allergies, or just want to eat healthier I highly recommend this no-frills cookbook.
I tried some different sugar free icing concoctions, and after several attempts settled on an on-the-fly cream cheese based icing that worked beautifully. I whipped room temperature light cream cheese then added 4 tablespoons of heavy cream and one tablespoon of dried egg whites.
Here’s the run down on my all-natural adornments:
- The roof is tiled with sliced almonds.
- The front door is outlined with currants. Currants are also on the top corners of the windows.
- Dried goji berries created beautiful flower boxes.
- Dried bing cherries envelope the house’s foundation.
- Dried cranberries line the front walk.
- Unsweetened carob chips make up the front walk.
- The snow covered ground is made from unsweetened coconut flakes.
- The wreath is a dried persimmon slice with raw pepitas studded with pink peppercorns.
If you’re an ‘alternative foodie’ blogger like me and you love baking, think about joining the Daring Bakers. It’s so affirming to take on a challenge and successfully complete it using non-conventional ingredients. Honestly, I almost didn’t even try this challenge because I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. Joe and I have so enjoyed looking at my little gingerbread cottage that I’m already planning on making another on next year.
What’s brought you joy this holiday season?