If you’re here for Tuesdays With Dorie, scroll down. And the cheesecake is actually coming!
I’ve been making gingerbread houses (and castles, and pirate ships, and spaceships, and Stonehenge!) since #1 Son was very small; the boys usually came up with the concept and did the decoration, and I did the drafting and baking and building. This year #1 Son wanted to take over the tradition. Being the fantastic mother I am, I let him. (It nearly killed me, though â€” he was doing everything wrong [meaning, not the way I did it]).
Well, it all worked out just fine in the end. He tried two different recipes for the gingerbread. One was from a book called Gingerbread for All Seasons by Teresa Layman, which I bought only a few years ago but which appears to be out of print already. That’s unfortunate, because it’s amazing. Teresa’s techniques drastically improved my houses over the years. The other was, of course, Dorie’s, which I heard about on an NPR piece right before Christmas. The recipe is at the bottom of that link.
#1 Son said Dorie’s dough was easier to work with (of course!), but he liked the flavor of the other dough better. I think that’s just his aversion to molasses, and we’ll try Dorie’s recipe with dark corn syrup or maple syrup next year.
He made the template (although I did help a bit with that; experience is occasionally helpful, even when you’re 16), baked the pieces, and built the house. He and his girlfriend and #2 Son put on the finishing touches. And so, without further ado, I present the Inn of Ill Respite. (Warning: The text may not be entirely appropriate for children, or for people who were raised to be horrified by things that are, in fact, horrible.)
But evil lurks below. Under that cheerfully blazing fire is the entrance to the goblin city.
And there you have it. He’s a good kid, really.