5 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups unsulphured molasses*
2 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven 375°F. Thoroughly mix flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Melt
shortening in large saucepan. Cool slightly. Add sugar, molasses and eggs; mix
well. Add four cups of the dry ingredients and mix again.
Turn mixture onto lightly floured surface. Knead in remaining dry ingredients by hand. Add a little more flour, if necessary, to make the dough firm.
Spray the back of your cookie sheets lightly with oil. Roll out about 1/3 of the dough on the BACK of your cookie sheet to 1/4 inch. Position your pattern pieces on top of the dough. With a sharp knife cut around your pattern pieces. Do not place your pieces too close because the dough will spread a little.
When you get all of your pieces cut our, place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes, this helps prevent spreading. To bake the house shown it took 3 cookie sheets, but it will depend on the size of yours. Always roll out your dough on cool cookie sheet. I always bake a gingerbread round piece to put my house on with any leftover dough, for this house it should be about 14 inches round or oblong. (I put a disc under the gingerbread to help stabilize the house and it can be larger as it gets covered with icing.)
Bake pieces for about 12 minutes, you want your pieces to get hard. They should be starting to brown around the edges. If it gets a little too done, don't worry, just call it character!
If you're not going to use your gingerbread right away, wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate. Refrigerated dough will keep for a week, but be sure to remove it 3 hours prior to rolling so it softens and is workable.
*Substitute 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup for molasses to make Blonde Gingerbread.
Makes 1 Gingerbread House
3 level tablespoons Meringue Powder
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approx. 1 lb.)
6 tablespoons water
Beat all ingredients at low speed for 7-10 minutes (10-12 minutes at high speed for portable mixer) until icing forms peaks. Keep icing covered with a damp cloth when not in use.
Yields 3 cups of icing.
Alternately if you do not have meringue powder you can use egg whites. Find pasteurized eggs if you plan to eat the gingerbread house.
4 large egg whites
7 to 7 1/2 cups powdered white sugar
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. (Second batch of icing will be made later.)
Recipe From http://www.razzledazzlerecipes.com
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