Small note – the recipe for gingerbread house gingerbread I linked to a few days ago did not turn out for me (dry and crumbly), try the martha gingerbread recipe instead.
Also, I couldn’t find my own post for the recipe for hard candy to make glass for the windows, so I’m going to post it here. This appeared in the October 2000 issue of Martha Stewart Living and was graciously typed up and emailed to me by Zalary so long ago. Thank you again Zalary! This is edited to include only the parts I need for hard candy:
hard candy windows
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange lollipop sticks (or not if you’re making windows, I guess). Prepare an ice-water bath. Combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and place over high heat. Stir continuously to dissolve sugar. When syrup comes to a boil stop stirring and clip on a candy thermometer. Continue cooking without stirring until mixture turns golden and reaches 300 to 310 degrees, or hard crack stage (check your Joy of Cooking book – and they’ll describe it if you don’t already know) (approx 5 to 7 min) Occasionally wash the sides of the pan using a clean brush dipped in cold water to prevent crystals from forming.
2. Remove pot from heat. Dip bottom of pan into ice bath for about 20 secs to stop the cooking – this will cause a bit of steam and noise. Swirl the pan for another 2 minutes to continue cooling.
3. Working quickly, pour syrup onto baking sheets.
Hard crack stage is listed in my Joy of Cooking like this:
A spoonful of syrup dropped into ice-cold water will make stiff firm threads that bread easily when removed from the water. (As opposed to pliable at all.)
I’ll make the candy blobs larger than my window size, then position the glass inside the windows and attach with royal icing. The golden color of the finished candy will (hopefully) create a warm glow from inside!