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Calling All Gingerbread ­Architects

Help build a sweet village for Annapolis

Looking for a creative outlet this holiday season? Or perhaps a great bonding exercise for the family or office? Get your ovens preheated and architectural plans drawn for this year’s Historic Annapolis gingerbread contest. Entries will be on exhibit in local businesses in Historic Annapolis December 6 thru January 1.
    Register by Monday, November 26, in professional or amateur categories. Pick up a registration form at the Historic Annapolis Museum at 99 Main Street or download at www.annapolis.org.
    Winners will be announced at the museum Saturday, December 8, at 2pm.
    To tour the gingerbread village, pick up a map at the museum, where most of the professional entries are showcased.

Gingerbread

1-1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup prune puree, smooth applesauce, or mashed banana
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup molasses
3/4 cup boiling water
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
3/4 cup raisins (optional)

    Preheat oven to 325. Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with a baking pan liner or lightly spray with vegetable cooking spray, then sprinkle flour to coat lightly. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt together in a mixing bowl. Combine prune puree, applesauce or mashed banana and sugar in a separate bowl. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of the baking soda and molasses. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to the boiling water. Alternate adding fruit puree mixture and the boiling water to the flour mixture, stirring to combine. Add egg whites and raisins. Pour cake batter into the baking pan.
    Bake for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Traditional Royal Icing

    This sweet icing will be used like glue to hold the house together and to decorate. It dries quickly into a hard candy consistency. Icings containing butter or oils do not harden, thus do not hold the structure together.

3 large egg whites at room temperature
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 lb. 10X confectioner’s sugar, sifted

    Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix on high for 7-10 minutes until very stiff. You cannot over-beat. Store at room temperature. Use as soon as possible, keeping well covered until used.
Got a tasty tip for next week’s Dish? Email Lisa Knoll at thedish@bayweekly.com.