No cookie cutter, mixer or any other special equipment required to make these. Fill with goodies for a completely edible homemade gift! Tip: The Mason Jars are easier to make because they don't require constructing! This recipe makes either 2 boxes or 2 mason jars. Please note: The gingerbread recipe used in this recipe is specific for this recipe. It is lighter than most gingerbread recipes (less butter, honey instead of molasses or golden syrup) so the Mason Jar doesn't slide down the can while baking (which is what happens if you use a gingerbread recipe with more butter in it).
1. Have patience and make sure the butter mixture is almost at room temperature before adding in the egg. Firstly, if the butter mixture is straight off the stove and you add the egg, you will end up with scrambled eggs in your gingerbread. Secondly, if the butter mixture is still warm when you mix the dough, the dough is really sticky and hard to work with. I have experienced both these problems.
2. Don't skip the step of chilling the dough! I tried it once and the dough is impossible to work with, far too sticky.
3. I find the easiest way to roll out this dough is as follows: Place dough onto baking paper (parchment paper) and use your hands flatten and spread the dough to almost as thin as you want it. The dough is soft so it is easy to do this. Then place another piece of parchment paper on top and roll out to desired thickness. If you try to roll out a thick lump between baking paper then the baking paper crinkles and gets bunched up because it sticks to the dough which you are rolling out.
4. If you cut the dough using a piece of baking paper that is cut to shape to wrap around the can without an overlap, when you roll up the can in the dough, it won't be long enough. I won't go into technicalities, but just trust me, make the rectangle extra long. It's easy to trim excess but a pain to fill the space if you are short.
5. You need the oven shelf to be at a height so when you put the tray in, the top of the mason jars will fit without touching the top of the oven.
6. The gingerbread recipe plus the step of chilling the dough again once it is rolled up on the can are specifically to help ensure the Mason Jar maintains its form while baking, instead of sliding down the can (causing the bottom of the Mason Jar to be wider than the top). However, if your Mason Jar does lose its shape while baking, you can balance it out visually by either piping a rim of Royal Icing along the top rim or wrapping a ribbon around the top.
Another thing I did was to use leftover dough to make a mug handle which I glued onto the side of the "mug" (using melted chocolates) and I filled the mug with a sachet of hot chocolate powder and marshmallows. That was quite fun too!
7. Nutrition assumes 12 servings (being one Gingerbread Box piece each!).