This year for the "Secret Santa" group I was in, we had to hand make our gift. I decided to make a gingerbread bird house as the lady whose name I picked out of a hat loves bird houses and gingerbread! It took hours to decorate but I enjoyed every second of it and love the result! I will be sad to see it go today but she is a wonderful lady and I hope she loves it as much as I do.
I used the Gingerbread House Cookie Cutter set from Cox & Cox but cut the roof and the sides of the house in half and used a small circular cutter at the front.
The bird cutters are part of a "12 days of Christmas" cookie cutter set that was given to me and my sisters when we were young children from a dear family friend who lives in Oregon.
Gingerbread bird house & Birds
250g unsalted butter
200g dark muscovado sugar
600g plain flour
7 tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tsp ground ginger
- Heat oven to 180 deg C
- Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan.
- Mix the flour, ground ginger and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl.
- Slowly add the melted butter mix to the flour mix to form a dough.
- Roll dough out to about 8mm thick on to baking paper.
- Cut out front, then cut small circle out of front.
- Cut out back.
- Cut out one roof and then cut in half with a sharp knife.
- Cut out two sides, cutting in half where the door starts, reuse the halves with doors.
- Cut out two birds.
- Slide cut pieces still on the baking paper on to baking trays.
- Bake in the oven for 12 minutes or until firm to the touch.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes, then re-cut round edges to neaten.
- Leave to completely cool.
Decorating the Bird House
Roll on icing
Icing sugar (powdered sugar)
M&M's in pale pink, red & brown
- Dust icing sugar onto a hard clean surface and roll out icing to 3mm thick.
- Cut out house components in icing.
- Brush water onto back of cut out icing component and place on top of corresponding gingerbread piece. Repeat until all gingerbread pieces are iced.
- Make up royal icing as per instructions on packet, and spoon into piping bag with a small nozzle at the end.
- To build the base, hold the front and one of the sides of the house upright together in one hand to form a corner and with the other hand pipe icing down the inside of the corner and hold together till icing starts to set. Repeat until you have formed a box. Leave to set.
- On the back of one iced roof, pipe icing in a small line round the outside edge. Place on top of gingerbread iced box and hold until icing starts to set. Repeat with second roof piece. Leave to dry.
- For the chimney, build in the same way as the base of the house. Once it is dry, ice the bottom and place in position on top of roof. Leave to dry.
- Place house onto a cake board and using a star nozzle on the end of your piping bag, pipe small star shapes around the bottom of the house between the cake board and the house.
- Lightly push green M&M's into the center of the icing all the way round.
- Continue piping star shapes along all of the outside joins of the house, leaving the top of the roof until last so you can push M&M's into the icing along the top.
- Place a small dob of icing on the back of an M&M and place on the roof, pressing lightly down. Repeat until desired pattern is achieved. Continue for chimney.
- Using liquid food colouring, hand paint the iced birds and leave to dry.
- Pipe a generous amount of icing on back of birds and place on house in desired position, holding bird in place or propping it up until icing is nearly set. Fill chimney with brown M&M's.
I covered an old cake board in a circle of polka dot paper using double sided tape to secure. I then covered the paper in a circular layer of cellophane, placing the double sided tape in the centre and along the outside edges where it would not be seen. I then stuck the ribbon in place using double sided tape, folding the top edge onto the top of the cake board.
Polka dot wrapping paper from Tesco
Cellophane from Paperchase
Have a sweet day!