I have found a new thing to do with jars and gingerbread!
I decided that I would be making my Christmas presents this year, and the first cab off the rank is this gorgeous little Christmas snow globe. I am not a great planner when it comes to making things like this, preferring instead to figure things out as I go along.
The first thing I decided was that I would make gingerbread, and that somehow it would be stacked to look like a tree. I have seen this done before with gingerbread stars, but I really wanted it to look as tree-like as possible, so thought I might hand cut the biscuits instead.
I used round cutters first, and then cut the edges into points. To make sure they didn't break off, I squashed the points a bit, rounding them off just a little.
The next step was to fill the bottom of my jar with castor sugar, building up slightly the corner where my tree was going to be "planted". Before I placed each biscuit on the snow, I put a dab of royal icing in the middle, and also iced the bottom of my next biscuit as I placed it in. After holding them together for only a couple of seconds they clung together quite nicely.
In the end there were ten biscuits in the stack. To be honest I had actually made eleven, but no matter how hard I tried, the largest biscuit was just not going to fit through the opening. No matter, I was hungry anyway and wanted to be sure the gingerbread was fabulous. (Yes it was!)
My three little presents were made from Fantales covered in various bits of fondant. I find colouring fondant tiresome, much preferring to handpaint my creations once they are assembled.
As well as being a my preferred process (no coloured hands!) I think the colours are much richer when applied this way.
My little snowman was the final creation. He is for show only, made entirely of fondant and toothpicks. When I first put him together, I skewered him from top to bottom to hold him in place. Once he had been worked on for a while I removed the skewer and he held together quite well on his own.
The trick to making things like his carrot nose stay in place is to punch a hole in the fondant with a skewer and then to wedge the carrot inside. I also used this technique when adding eyes and buttons.
Lastly I skewered him through the middle with a toothpick, adding a little fondant glove to each end.
...and there you have it! My little gingerbread Christmas snow globe. The fun part is going to be making each one look just a little bit different.
On to number two...