Gin­ger­bread Barn

Country Woman - - LET’S EAT -

This coun­try-as-can-be pro­ject adds a cheer­ful rus­tic touch to your hol­i­day decor—and is so fun to assem­ble, you can start rais­ing the roof now. —TASTE OF HOME TEST KITCHEN PREP: 3 HOURS + STAND­ING BAKE: 50 MIN. + COOLING MAKES: 1 BARN AND ABOUT 2 DOZEN LARGE COOK­IES 21/₄ cups short­en­ing

2 cups su­gar

2 large eggs, room tem­per­a­ture 1 cup mo­lasses

²/₃ cup light corn syrup

2 tsp. ground gin­ger

11/2 tsp. ground cin­na­mon

1 tsp. ground cloves

81/2 to 9 cups all-pur­pose flour As­sorted food paste col­ors

IC­ING

11/2 cups but­ter, soft­ened

11/2 cups short­en­ing

³/₄ cup wa­ter

3 Tbsp. vanilla ex­tract

12 cups confectioners’ su­gar 1 pkg. (14.4 oz.) gra­ham crackers 3 cups Golden Gra­hams ce­real 1 thin but­ter ring cookie Dec­o­rat­ing sprin­kles and can­dies 1 sour candy belt

Sug­ars and ed­i­ble glit­ter Unsweet­ened shred­ded co­conut

Thin pret­zel sticks and rods Su­gar ice cream cones

2 large marsh­mal­lows 40 minia­ture marsh­mal­lows 2 black jelly beans

2 black candy coating disks

Choco­late river stones

1. For dough: beat short­en­ing and su­gar un­til fluffy. Beat in the eggs, mo­lasses, corn syrup, gin­ger, cin­na­mon and cloves. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, un­til dough can be formed into a ball. Turn dough onto a lightly floured sur­face. Knead un­til smooth and easy to han­dle; add more flour if needed. Cover; chill dough for sev­eral hours or overnight.

2. Trace barn pat­terns onto card­board; cut out. Cut out the win­dows and an­i­mals.

3. Line a bak­ing sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray. Us­ing a lightly floured rolling pin, roll one-sixth of the dough di­rectly onto the bak­ing sheet into a rec­tan­gle about 1/4 in. thick. Po­si­tion a barn pat­tern on the dough. Us­ing a sharp knife or pizza cut­ter, cut quan­ti­ties noted on each pat­tern piece. Cut out win­dows where in­di­cated. Re­move pat­tern. Re­move the dough scraps; cover, re­frig­er­ate and re-roll if needed.

4. Bake at 350° un­til edges be­gin to brown, 12-14 minutes. Re­move from oven; im­me­di­ately re­place barn pat­terns on cook­ies. Cut around edges to trim ex­cess cookie if nec­es­sary. Cool un­til firm, about 10 minutes. Cool com­pletely on wire rack. Re­peat with re­main­ing dough and pat­terns.

5. For silo roof: Cut a 5-in. dough cir­cle. Turn a stan­dard-size muf­fin tin up­side down; spray bot­tom of one cup with cooking spray. Mold dough over and down cup sides; trim ex­cess. Bake at 350° un­til golden brown, 10 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes on tin. Cool roof com­pletely on a wire rack. If needed, trim to fit.

6. If desired, use re­main­ing dough for an­i­mal cutouts. Bake large cook­ies at 350° for 12-14 minutes, smaller ones for 6-7 minutes.

7. For barn: Test cookie pieces to make sure they fit snugly. If needed, trim pieces with a ser­rated knife.

8. Com­bine 4 tsp. wa­ter and 1/2 tsp. red food color­ing. Care­fully brush onto front, back and sides of barn. Dry com­pletely overnight.

9. For ic­ing: Cream the but­ter and short­en­ing. Add wa­ter and vanilla; beat un­til smooth. Grad­u­ally beat in confectioners’ su­gar; mix well. Cover with a damp cloth.

10. In­sert #10 tip into pas­try bag; fill two-thirds full with ic­ing. Squeeze a wide strip of ic­ing onto the bot­tom edge of back barn piece. Po­si­tion on a rec­tan­gu­lar dis­play base about 7 in. from one short edge. Prop with small cans un­til ic­ing is firm, 3-4 hours.

11. Squeeze ic­ing on the lower edge of one side piece and side edge of back piece. Align at a right an­gle as tightly as pos­si­ble; prop up. Re­peat with other side of barn. For added sta­bil­ity, squeeze ic­ing along in­side edge of all pieces and cor­ners.

12. Squeeze ic­ing onto the bot­tom and side edges of the front piece; po­si­tion with other as­sem­bled pieces. Prop up; let dry com­pletely.

13. To assem­ble barn roof: From heavy-duty card­board, cut two 101/2x31/2-in. pieces (A). Also cut two 101/2x21/2-in. pieces (B). Tape one long edge of pieces A and B to­gether with mask­ing tape; re­peat. Tape A pieces to­gether to form cen­ter roof peak.

14. Squeeze ic­ing on the up­per edges of the slant of the front and back edges of the barn. Care­fully place roof so peak is cen­tered be­tween front and back. (There will be a 3/4-in. over­hang on both.)

15. To cover roof, cut the gra­ham crackers to fit. Us­ing ic­ing, at­tach in rows, be­gin­ning from bot­tom.

16. To dec­o­rate barn: Us­ing a #5 tip, out­line win­dows and doors with white ic­ing.

17. For shut­ters, cut the gra­ham crackers to fit win­dow on front of barn. Pipe edges and di­ag­o­nal line with white ic­ing; dry com­pletely. Ad­here shut­ters with ic­ing. For door, cut one gra­ham cracker into fourths. Se­cure three pieces to­gether hor­i­zon­tally with ic­ing; pipe ic­ing around edges of door and make an “X” in cen­ter. Let dry com­pletely. Ad­here door to barn with ic­ing. Pipe ic­ing onto roof; dec­o­rate with coarse su­gar and ed­i­ble glit­ter. Frost base around barn and silo. Use shred­ded co­conut to cre­ate snow.

18. For the mark­ings on an­i­mals, thin a small por­tion of the ic­ing with wa­ter. Tint ic­ing as desired for each an­i­mal. Pipe on as desired.

19. Se­cure an­i­mals around barn with ic­ing. To make path, spread a thin layer of ic­ing onto board and at­tach choco­late river stones.

TEST KITCHEN TIPS Buy choco­late river stones on­line or where lo­cal cake dec­o­rat­ing sup­plies are sold. If you plan to use your barn for dis­play only, you can use white or hot glue to ad­here pieces in­stead of ic­ing.

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