How to Make Gingerbread Cameras
Ansel Adams once said, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it”. Well this year, we’re making the cameras.
They showed us just how they did it, so you can make one at home, too.
Make a TLR, rangefinder or a Hasselblad. You can have any camera on your wish list!
Why it’s cool:
Gingerbread cameras are not only delicious and super fun to construct, but they also make the perfect, mouth-watering centerpiece for your holiday meal.
These cameras will make your guests f/stop in their tracks.
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
- 3¾ cups flour
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3½ 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.
(Great gingerbread recipe found here)
Step 2 – Roll out the dough:
On a floured surface, roll out half the dough to about ¼” 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 the printable template (above) 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:
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 electric mixer, beat egg whites in medium bowl until very foamy, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Beat until well blended. Add remaining cups 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, about 5 minutes.
Step 6 – Trim the edges:
Step 7 – Assemble:
Step 8 – Details:
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:
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!
Take it further:
- Want more cameras you can eat? Check out these cookie cutters (above) and make ice-cream sandwich cameras!
- Make a collection of rad gingerbread cameras. Study your favorite camera and break it down to its most essential geometric shapes. Make a template for the shapes you need to cut out and bake. Photograph your camera and its sweeter counterpart together.
- Feeling extra festive? Make a gingerbread polaroid camera and prints. Draw your favorite photos with colored icing.