Gingerbread Stables - Christian Perspective 2013-01-18آ  - Gingerbread Stables - Introduction When the

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  • - Gingerbread Stables - Introduction When the kids were young, I had lots of fun modifying the classic gingerbread houses into stables—and then the kids had fun decorating them and giving them as gifts to others! They proved a way to share the gospel and Christmas story with other families. Sometimes we would decorate the stables; other times we would send supplies for the family to decorate them. They are truly a “sweet” memory. On the following pages, I’ve included instructions and patterns for making gingerbread stables. I wish to thank a dear woman from our church who had us over one day and showed us how she made gingerbread houses—these instructions wouldn’t be what they are without her guidance in the art of gingerbread. I hope you enjoy! - Cris Loop

    Check out our website…We offer free e-newsletters with a short encouraging story, thought, and more, as well as holiday devotionals, resources on teaching math from a biblical worldview, and more. We also have a lot of free information online. www.christianperspective.net Stable Instructions – Read First!

    1. Trace and cut out the stable patterns – The patterns and printing instructions are provided. Trace the patterns on to cardboard, if possible, for better stability.

    2. Find cookie cutters in the shapes of people or animals – You can use regular gingerbread men and women to make Mary and Joseph, and various cookie cutter shapes to make a star, angel, and animals.

    3. Make the gingerbread – The recipe included on the next page produces a sturdy gingerbread suitable for the large stable pieces; however, if you have a favorite gingerbread recipe, you may wish to make it for the people and animals you’re adding to the scene, as the recipe we’ve included is designed for stability more than taste.

    4. Assemble the stables – See “Instructions for Assembling the Gingerbread Stable” for detailed instructions. You will need an iron skillet, aluminum-foil-covered wood or particle- board rectangles, and granulated sugar.

    5. Decorate the stables – You’ll want to use a stiff decorator’s icing. We’ve included a link to one, but any stiff icing should work. You’ll also want lots of candies! Small candies,

    (C) 2010-2012 by Christina and Katherine Loop www.ChristianPerspective.net

  • such as M&M's, pillow mints, cinnamon imperials, and other miniature size types, work best on the roof area. Gumdrops (whole), Hershey Kisses, Starlight Mints, and the like do much better along the bottom of the stable. To make the candy go further and lighten it, we would split the wreaths in half. We also split gum drops and trees, to make a more uniformed effect. Use your imagination and have fun. I had the kids do all the decorating while I was making icing.

    6. Enjoy (or give away to someone to enjoy)! Note: The uncooked egg whites in the icing are not recommended to be eaten (and the icing doesn’t taste good), so eat around the icing or use an icing that does not have raw egg whites (although it will probably not hold the candy as well as the stiffer icing does).

    Gingerbread Recipe 2/3 cup butter or margarine 3/4 cup molasses or corn syrup (I used light molasses) 1/4 cup water 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon ginger 1 tablespoon cloves 1 tablespoon baking soda 6 to 7 cups flour Stir the butter, sugar, and molasses or corn syrup together until smooth. Add the water, spices, baking soda, and flour. Use the larger amount of flour suggested when making a gingerbread stable. Make into a workable dough on a baking board. Put in a well-covered bowl overnight. Work the dough. It should be rather firm. When I remove the figures from the oven, I put the pattern over them and re-cut them as baking can change the shape a little. (Make sure the rolled-out dough is at least 1/8" thick; otherwise, the gingerbread will rise and not be hard enough to support any candy.)

    (C) 2010-2012 by Christina and Katherine Loop www.ChristianPerspective.net

  • I use a yardstick from Home Depot that I have sawed in half to get the correct thickness for the gingerbread. I place one 18” piece to the left of my dough and the other 18” piece to the right; they serve as a guide when rolling out the dough. Large figures and large parts of the stable should be cut out on the cookie sheet. They easily lose their shape when moved from baking board to cookie sheet, so for piece C (the top), I use a spatula to transfer the rolled-out dough and cut the pattern out on the cookie sheet. For pieces A & B, I have successfully used a spatula to transfer the cut-out pieces to the cookie sheet. Bake in a 350- to 400-degree oven approximately 6-8 minutes. Don't burn the gingerbread, but you do want it baked darker than you would bake cookies. Give the pieces a minute before removing them from cookie sheets to wire racks, but don’t let them cool on the cookie sheet. You want to remove them while they are still warm; otherwise, they may stick to the cookie sheets. After they have thoroughly cooled, store each stable set in a plastic bag so the pieces are organized and covered. Do not close the bag. Instructions for Assembling the Gingerbread Stable Cover a piece of wood or particle board larger than the stable (at least 12x12—14x12 is a nice size) with aluminum foil. I like to use a rectangle and leave room for the animals and people visiting the manger. In an iron skillet, on medium-low heat, melt granulated sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon until it becomes the consistency of syrup. (The iron skillet will ensure that you do not ruin a pan--it cleans up beautifully.) You will use the melted (burnt) sugar to assemble the houses. It is so easy this way; however, the burnt sugar will hurt if you get it on you, so be very careful and keep children a safe distance away while you are working with the sugar. Swipe the bottom of the first piece of your stable (Piece A) in the sugar and stand it where you want it on the foiled cardboard. Hold approximately 30 seconds. Then proceed with the next piece. Piece B will get the burnt sugar on two edges—the bottom and the inside wall. After doing both B pieces you will put the top (C) on last. I use a wooden spoon to put the sugar on the top, because the top needs sugar on three sides, making it harder to do the other way without getting burnt. This completes the stable. Do not worry if the stable is not perfectly put together-- the decoration will hide all the flaws. After you have the stable together, you will want to put the manger together inside the stable, along with any other cookie cut-outs you have to complete the scene (Mary and Joseph, the animals, a star, etc.). You can dip each of these pieces in brown sugar and place them on the board where you want them. Assemble everything before beginning the decorating. You can keep the burnt sugar in the pan and reheat and use later if you want (in case you decide to make more).

    (C) 2010-2012 by Christina and Katherine Loop www.ChristianPerspective.net

  • Decoratoring Use your favorite stiff decorating icing, or one of the recipes available online (search for “gingerbread house icing” or use the Wilton one at http://www.wilton.com/recipe/Egg-White- Royal-Icing-1). Depending on how many stables you’re making, you could probably half some of the recipes online. Use the icing to decorate the stables however you like, pressing the candy into the icing. Although the stable pieces are fairly secure, be careful not to push too hard against the stables or overload them with weight when decorating, as you don’t want them to collapse. Be aware that most stiff decorating icing uses uncooked egg whites, which are not recommended to be eaten. The icing’s purpose is to hold the candy firmly in place and decorate the stable, not to eat. You could use an icing that does not have egg whites, although it will probably not hold the candy as well as the stiffer icing does.

    (C) 2010-2012 by Christina and Katherine Loop www.ChristianPerspective.net

  • (C) 2010-2012 by Christina and Katherine Loop www.ChristianPerspective.net

  • (C) 2010-2012 by Christina and Katherine Loop www.ChristianPerspective.net

  • (C) 2010-2012 by Christina and Katherine Loop www.ChristianPerspective.net

  • C - Piece 1. Tape at the dotted line with piece 2 so that the dots line up, and then cut out on cardboard or frame matting. The final piece should be about 11 and 5/8 inches long on the long side and 6 and 1/8 inches on the short side.

    (C) 2010-2012 by Christina and Katherine Loop www.ChristianPerspective.net

  • C - Piece 2. Tape at the dotted line with piece 1 so that the dots line up, and then cut out on cardboard or frame matting. The final piece should be about 11 and 5/8 inches long on the long side and 6 and 1/8 inches on the short side.

    (C) 2010-2012 by Christina and Katherine Loop www.ChristianPerspective.net

    GINGERBD 1 1[1].pdf stables-patterns