Didn't manage the gingerbread decorating session you'd hoped for during the busy holidays? Or maybe it went so well you're already ready to do it again? At 5"x5"x5", this cute little Valentine Sugar Cookie House doesn't take much work or ingredients to bake, assemble or decorate. The cookie recipe provided below is pretty moderate with low fat and egg content; you can substitute another cut-out cookie recipe if you would like something richer. The recipe will make enough for one house plus a small batch of cookies.
First download and print out the Valentine House template. Transfer to cardboard for sturdy templates, or just use the paper pieces.
Cream 36g shortening with 144g sugar. Mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 egg. Combine 350g flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until well distributed. Add 4-6 tablespoons of milk, water or juice and mix/knead until dough is pliable. Refrigerate or roll out immediately, as convenient.
Roll the dough out thinly on sprayed foil or parchment paper. Arrange your paper/cardboard templates on top.
Use a sharp knife to cut around the templates, then remove the paper and excess dough.
Use a small cookie-cutter to make a window in one of the end pieces and a tiny cutter or knife to make a little heart-shaped cut-out in the door. If desired, use a knife or other tool to score designs onto the surface, cut wavy edges, etc.
Put in the freezer for at least half an hour or until you have time to bake. Meanwhile cut and roll out extra dough into cookies.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until done. Immediately use a knife to cut apart any pieces that were butted right up next to each other during baking. Cool until ready to assemble.
To assemble, melt 96g of sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Once it turns liquid, turn the heat down to low. Dip edges of pieces or use a spoon to dribble melted sugar along the edges you need to glue. Quickly press in place and hold for a few seconds until the sugar hardens. Watch your fingers and keep the kiddos away for this step, the melted sugar is extremely hot.
Mix up your favorite royal icing recipe, or just powdered sugar and water, set out valentine's themed candy and decorate.