Today on the blog we examine this important question:
Is it possible to make a gingerbread menorah
in less than three hours?
The answer is yes, with two conditions: the batter is
already made, and you have had a vision, in the middle of the night, on how to
Here's how to do it, in twelve steps.
Younger Daughter to make Gingerbread Tardis (following Smalltownme’s suggestion
On Saturday, make
gingerbread batter and put it in
On Sunday Younger
Daughter abandons interest in making Gingerbread Tardis.
At the same time, realize that there is a
“home-made menorah” contest at the synagogue’s Hanukkah party, coming up on
In the wee hours
of the morning on Monday, come up with an idea on an appropriate shape for your
menorah, one that will relate to the Hanukkah story.
And that shape would be a hammer.
Hanukkah is a celebration of the re-dedication of the Temple
in Jerusalem, after the Jewish guerilla army won the war against their
One of the leaders of that
guerilla army was Judah Maccabee (Maccabaeus) which means Joe the Hammer.
On Tuesday, the
day of the party, decide at 1 PM to see if you can do it.
Find a real hammer in the tool chest.
Trace and cut wax paper template.
Fire up the oven, roll the gingerbread dough,
cut the pieces.
|Some useful tools|
|Rolling and cutting|
Find an actual
Make holes for candles
in the dough.
Realize belatedly that
matching up these holes once the dough is cooked is going to be nigh
|Spacing the candle holes.|
But this is pointless because the dough expands a bit while
baking so the holes will not be big enough for
regular Hanukkah candles. Maybe for birthday candles...
gingerbread in the oven.
Go practice the
Christmas cantata piano part while it is baking.
Make the house smell like burnt gingerbread
by burning all the pieces of your gingerbread hammer menorah.
Remove from oven, sighing.
|Burnt hammer head pieces. If you make one piece shorter,|
then you can make an actual claw on your hammer!
|Burnt hammer handle pieces, with useless candle holes.|
gingerbread is cooling, mix up some “Royal Icing”.
It will likely refuse to form “stiff peaks”
so keep adding more and more powdered sugar.
Eventually give up and hope it is not going to be impossibly drippy.
Decide that no, you will NOT be embarrassed
to take this gingerbread menorah to the Hanukkah party.
|Gloppy, sticky Royal Icing. Do not let little kids near|
this stuff if Aunt Gertrude is coming over any time soon -
it will make your entire house sticky.
Frost the first
layer of your gingerbread, then stack on the next layer.
Poke a toothpick in each candle-hole to clear
out the icing.
Realize that this method
is fruitless, and you will never get actual candles in there.
Cover the rest of the Royal Icing to keep it
Leave the sides unfrosted while
you look for decorations.
|Partially frosted hammer menorah.|
Note that I made an extra hammer-head piece, which was a
good thing, because one of them broke.
|Okay, this thing is not a toothpick. It's some kind of weird|
tool I found in the back of the kitchen drawer.
An escargot extractor, maybe? But why would I have that when
I never make escargot?
Finding none, go to
Buy Hanukkah gelt
(chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil).
In candy aisle, find blue Sour Punch Bites, which probably taste
disgusting, but could be used as candy candles, which is a fun thing to
Feel up the bag to determine if the
candies really are shaped like candles.
Buy Lifesaver Gummies in the hopes that the candy candles will fit inside
Buy sno-caps chocolate nonpareils
You still have an hour.
Using pizza cutter, slice chocolate coins in
Realize that this was a mistake, since the foil immediately falls off the chocolate.
Glue the foil back on with Royal Icing.
Cover your entire
hammer shape with gobs of icing.
Sprinkle with blue sugar that you found in the back of the closet, and stick the candy on in a festive pattern.
Find out that the Sour Punch Bites do NOT fit
inside the Lifesaver Gummies.
Jam a toothpick into each candle hole.
Stick a Sour Punch bite on each toothpick.
Find that a little bit of toothpick is
This is a Hanukkah
Cut little bits of orange and
red lifesavers and stick the pieces onto the toothpick ends.
These are the candle flames.
Gingerbread Menorah of Judah Maccabee.
|Sorry there are no intermediate photos, especially of the|
Hanukkah miracle when the toothpick ends were sticking
out. I was in a rush.
Here are a few of the other entries in the menorah
I thought these were much
cooler than mine.
The tube-shaped tissue
paper ones have a little electric tea light inside each one!
And who would ever have thought to make a
menorah out of Knex?
One person made their
entire menorah out of lifesaver candies, with lollipops as candles!
And the melted crayon one is so beautiful and artistic, and has real candles which match the crayon colors.
There were more, but I didn’t get photos of
|Tissue paper menorah!|
|Crayon art menorah!|
That menorah on the left is not "home made" and was
on the wrong table.
Happy Hanukkah! Now back to practicing the piano part for the Christmas cantata.