Gingerbread House Cookie Tunnels Tutorial

Gingerbread House Cookie Chutes and Tunnels
“Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple.” – Willy Wonka
Gingerbread House Cookie Chutes and Tunnels

Using the following technique, real tunnels may be embedded into the walls of gingerbread houses to add depth and dimensionality to the design. Here, they are incorporated into candy-making machinery. These are photos from my Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory Gingerbread House.

Gingerbread House Cookie Chutes and Tunnels

Items Needed for Cookie Tunnels

► Note #1 – The number of rings in a stack determines the depth of the tunnel. To create small tunnels, use rings sizes 4-10 for a total of 5 rings. For medium tunnels like the one shown, use sizes 1-8 for a total of 7 rings. For large tunnels, use sizes 1-10 for a total of 9 rings.

► Note #2 – An opening must be cut and baked into the side of the wall intended for a tunnel. Cut a hole into the wall that is no less than ¼” (6 mm) smaller in diameter than the largest ring in the tunnel.

My Gingerbread House Dough Recipe & Baking Instructions
Gingerbread House Dough Recipe and Baking Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350º F (180º C).

2. Roll the gingerbread dough to 1/8” (3 mm) thickness. Chill until firm.

Gingerbread House Building by Wicked Goodies
3. Remove every other cutter from the round nested cutter set to create two groups. (In other words, if the cutters were numbered 1-10, separate the even rings from the odd.)

4. With cutter #1, cut a circle of gingerbread. Quickly transfer it to parchment paper.

5. With cutter #3, cut into the center of the circle created by cutter #1. Remove its center and place it at least ½” (13 mm) away on the parchment.

6. With cutter #5, remove the center of the circle made by #3 and set it on at least ½” (13 mm) away on the parchment.

7. Repeat the same process with the even-numbered cutters, reserving the smallest circle to cap the tunnel.

8. Bake the rings for 8-10 minutes or until they feel dry and rubbery but not firm to the touch. Do not overbake.

9. Once out of the oven, immediately transfer the rings off the hot pan by lifting the parchment paper onto a cool flat surface. Allow the gingerbread to cool completely.

Gingerbread House Cookie Chutes and Tunnels
10. On top of parchment paper, stack the rings in order of largest to smallest to create an inverted cone shape. Gently push the pile to one side if an angled tunnel is desired (see the angled pile on the top left below). Adjust the rings so that there are no gaping holes.

Gingerbread House Cookie Chutes and Tunnels
11. Out of a parchment cone, drizzle chocolate royal icing back and forth in a circle radiating from the center of the inverted cone out to its edges. Allow to dry for at least one hour.

Gingerbread House Cookie Chutes and Tunnels
12. With a small offset spatula, ice the back sides completely with more chocolate royal icing then allow them to dry for at least one day before assembling the structure’s walls.

Gingerbread House Cookie Chutes and Tunnels

Gingerbread House Cookie Chutes and Tunnels

Gingerbread House Cookie Chutes and Tunnels

I made the chutes by underbaking strips of dough then transferring them to a curved form immediately after they are out of the oven, when the dough is still hot and pliable. They set up this way. I ended up using an electric Dremel to round them off in the end.

Gingerbread House Cookie Chutes and Tunnels

Check out another example of this cookie tunnels technique made by a reader of this blog

Gingerbread Candy Factory by Lynne Schuyler Gingerbread House Candy Factory

Gingerbread House Cookie Chutes and Tunnels

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To view the complete album of photos of my candy factory gingerbread house, click on the photo below.
Candy Factory Gingerbread House

Wonka Gingerbread House Design

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