Cook IT Allergy Free's Gluten Free Gingerbread House Contest is up! You can vote for your favorite every day now through December 17th!
My entry is #15! Here are the photos I submitted, so you can get a better look. :)
In order to keep this entirely safe for my little guy the house is not only wheat free (had to be gluten free under the contest rules) but it's also dairy free, corn free, egg free, nut free and as made very obvious when compared to the others in the contest, dye free. It's not a true "gingerbread" because it doesn't have the spices, because we don't know that those are safe for him either. The only actual ingredients in the whole structure are brown rice flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, shortening, sugar, molasses, golden syrup and rice milk. But, nevertheless, he and my girls certainly did enjoy digging into it!
When I last posted about the contest I wasn't quite sure how I'd make it all work. Boy was I clueless!I did indeed use our standby graham cracker recipe with the addition of an extra 1/2 cup of brown rice flour (and I used only rice milk). Also I didn't roll the dough out as thin as I normally do, I left it almost 1/4" thick. I baked it with all the scrap dough so it didn't warp.
The vegan corn-free "royal" icing was a total flop! It was a maple-colored glaze at best, no way could it hold anything together, no matter how much sugar I added in. (I did use it to pipe the railroad tracks.) The last resort was melting sugar a la Martha Stewart! It was bit hazardous to my fingertips, but it worked! The graham crackers are so fragile I do think they benefitted from getting a bit stale, as odd as that sounds. The railhouse entryway piece absolutely crumbled early on and I rescued it by glueing it with sugar syrup on to a piece of cereal box cardboard (also the little guy's, just to be safe). Then I set all the pieces aside for a couple days while my fingers healed and when I got back to construction, everything came together much nicer.
For decorating I made a "buttercream" out of shortening and homemade cornfree powdered sugar! I gave a dusting with powder sugar on the foiled board for the look of snow. I originally thought I might use a bit of chocolate to decorate but ended up liking the "winter wonderland" look of the all white decorations!
Everyone's submissions were to the Cook IT Allergy Free contest were great! I'm so happy that Kim inspired me to make this fun project this season for my kids to enjoy, no matter what the contest outcome. :) If you would like to vote for my entry, just click on over and leave a comment for #15 and say why you think it should win. Thanks!