The only time of year that gingerbread recipes seem to ever be widely accepted is around the end-of-the-year holiday season (and honestly, we’re totally fine with that).
Instead of the traditional, old school gingerbread houses and gingerbread men recipes this year, why not get a bit more creative and even a bit more artsy by making some gingerbread cameras!
Perfect for fans of photography or for those who actually do it for a living, your self-made gingerbread cookies will have all your friends totally jealz, that is once they see the photo you took of it on Instagram, Hipstamatic, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and so on.
Check out the recipe below from Photojojo to make your own TLR (twins lens reflex) camera made out of gingerbread!
What You’ll Need:
- Gingerbread Dough and Icing (see below)
- Cookie Sheets
- Rolling Pin
- Parchment/ Wax Paper
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Electric Mixer (optional)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups flour
- cup brown sugar
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- cup molasses
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- teaspoon ground cinnamon
- teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- teaspoon salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 large egg whites
Step 1 Make the gingerbread dough:
Using an electric mixer at low speed, cream the sugar and butter until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs and molasses, and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and combine with a spoon or spatula.
Separate the dough into two even pieces and wrap each ball in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Step 2 Roll out the dough:
Preheat the oven to 350F and line the cookie sheets with wax paper.
On a floured surface, roll out half the dough to about ” thick. This part will be used for the sides and body of the camera. Roll the other half of the dough a bit thinner for the detail pieces, about 1/8 of an inch.
TIP: Roll your dough in between sheets of wax paper to keep it from sticking to your surface and rolling pin.
Step 3 Cut out the shapes:
Use a knife, or circle and rectangle cookie cutters, to cut out the shapes you need. Use a spatula to transfer your shapes to the prepared cookie sheets. You can re-roll the scraps.
Use the printable template for a twin lens reflex camera.
TIP: Before buying cookie cutters, see what shapes you have laying around your kitchen. We pressed the tops of drinking glasses into the dough for a nice circle outline.
Step 4 Bake and cool:
Pop your shapes into the oven at 350 degrees farenheit for around 10 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.
Let them cool completely before building your camera.
Step 5 Make the icing:
While the gingerbread is baking and cooling, make some hard-core icing that is sure to glue your gingerbread pieces together. You don’t want that camera collapsing after all your hard work! Here’s how:
Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until very foamy, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Beat until well blended. Add remaining cups of sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating until well blended after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Beat icing at high speed until very thick and stiff, for about 5 minutes.
Step 6 Trim the edges:
While your pieces are still a bit warm, trim the sides with a sharp knife for nice straight edges that are easy to line up.
Step 7 Assemble:
Start with the body of the camera. Construct the sides together using plenty of that thick icing. Once you have the body, go ahead and add the top shapes.
Step 8 Add details:
Glue on the lenses and film advance wheels with frosting.
TIP: Plenty of icing on the back of the piece holds it on tight. It also creates a nice white circle of icing when pressed onto the main body.
Step 9 Fine print:
Decorate your gingerbread camera with all the little details that make it awesome. Give it a brand name and a border, or polka dots if you want!
TIP: Spoon the icing into a re-sealable sandwich baggie. Cut a tiny corner off and squeeze the icing through for a more refined look. Use toothpicks to fine-tune the smallest areas.
Step 10 Enjoy!
You did it! Now put that bad boy on display for everyone to see!