Before you start on this project, you will need to make house shaped templates for the gingerbread cookies. Best made out of cardboard. You will need a front, a side, and a roof panel, making each twice to make four walls and both sides of the roof for a house. Get creative and make trees or gingerbread boys and girls! The best thing about making gingerbread houses is you can use your imagination..however tame or wild! The photo featured is from our first attempt at using our imagination a few years ago. Our girls made their houses in a more traditional shape that year, featured below.
This recipe, including the royal icing, not only tastes amazing, but it is to create the most durable quality cookie for building.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water (if needed during mixing)
Candies of choice for decorations
Royal Icing for construction
3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
In a large bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda together until smooth.
Blend in flour and water.
Wrap dough in pastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 375 F.
Roll out the dough 1/4-inch thick onto a sheet of parchment paper that is cut in the shape/size of your cookie baking sheets.
Now it’s time to use your paper house templates. Lightly flour the patterns before placing them on the dough. Cut out patterns with a sharp knife, leaving an inch of space between shapes.
Transfer parchment paper to a baking sheet.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until pieces are firm/brown around the edges.
Now you are ready to assemble and decorate your gingerbread house!
**My advice is assemble the house with roof at least 15 minutes before you start decorating; the weight of the candies and icing is heavy and could collapse wet icing.
Have a blast!