Make a Ginger Bread House
Making a gingerbread house can be lots of fun with a little planning. Buy
your candy ahead of time, there's a list below of suggested candies to buy. Bake
the house at least a day before you intend to decorate it so there is time for
it to dry. Once assembled they should last about a month. Bake an extra recipe
of gingerbread to make cookies for those that want to munch on your creation.
Decorate with a few of the extra candies, the kids will love helping with this.
Select your house pattern and cut your template.
I cut mine out of parchment paper but you can use cardboard. Some
magazines have templates and there are some book recommendations at the end of
the article and the source of this pattern. Cut your gingerbread pieces out with a sharp knife or pizza cutter on the big
1st Day - Bake the house -You can also make the accessories (trees, bushes,
wreaths, ect.) if time permits.
2nd Day - Assemble the house and let dry. Decorate your house later in the
day or an another day.
Candy and Decorations:
Christmas Hard Candies
Tootsie Rolls - make a logpile
Chuckles - Sled seat - use small candy canes for runners and a licorice whip for
Red and Green Gumdrops
Pretzels - make a good fence
Large Marshmallows - bushs
Ice Cream Cones - Trees - use Wilton tip #74 for both trees and bushs
Cereal for the roof also is cute
Don't limit yourself to this list, the possibilities are as endless as the candy
available where you live.
To make the house shown I used:
Roof: 2 1/2 Bags Brach's Arabian Nights Mix (11 oz. each)
Around the Door and Windows - Tic Tacs - I found red, white and green ones boxed
together and it took about 1 1/2 boxes of each
Cinnamon Candies on the outer edges of the roof
1 package (40) candy canes for the fence
6 tootsie rolls for the wood pile
Corners of House: M&M's
Hard Candies work best, chocolate can be used as long as your house is kept in a
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
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
Note: On the cookie sheet you will see by the top of the house a side piece
really close to the house, that is almost too close, so I wouldn't place the
pieces that close if you are new to this. You can trim the pieces if need be
Royal Icing - you will need 2 recipes of this
depending on what you do
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.
Note: Royal icing should have good body and be
moderately stiff: It will not create a lasting bond if too runny and soft. For
snow, I sometimes add a few drops of Karo Syrup to thin it just a little for a
Constructing Your Gingerbread House
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