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Gingerbread House

Add this fun family craft project to your Holiday traditions!

Gingerbread Recipe

Gingerbread House

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cups shortening
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 eight-ounce container sour cream
  • 2 eggs

Directions

  • Prepare the dough:
    In a large bowl, combine 3 1/2 cups flour and remaining ingredients. With mixer at low speed, beat until well mixed, scraping bowl with rubber spatula. By hand, knead in remaining 2 1/2 cups flour to make a soft dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or until dough is not sticky and is of easy kneading consistency. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
  • Roll the dough:
    Working with about half the batch at a time on a lightly floured surface with lightly floured hands, knead dough until smooth. On a greased and floured cookie sheet use a lightly floured rolling pin roll dough to 3/16" or 1/8" thickness. Try to make the thickness as uniform as possible.
  • Cut and bake the dough:
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Make patterns for the house out of card stock or cardboard. You'll need two pitched pieces of the same size for the front of house, two rectangles of the same size for the sides of the house and two large squares for the roof. The example also uses a rectangle for the door and you may want to add a chimney. Place the patterns on the dough and use a sharp knife to cut pieces from the rolled dough on the cookie sheet. Remove and reserve the scrap pieces in case more dough is needed.
  • Bake until golden brown and firm. Cool cookie sheet(s) on a wire rack five minutes. Carefully remove the baked pieces from cookie sheet and place on wire rack to cool completely.

Icing Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 (16 oz.) box of confectioners sugar

Directions:

  • In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Beat several minutes with an electric mixer until smooth. The icing should be thick. Use food coloring to achieve the desired color effects.
  • The icing will harden quickly. Store in a tightly sealed container if you are not using it right away. While you work with the icing, keep a damp cloth over the unused portion.

Assembly Instructions

Supplies:

  • at least 6 pieces of gingerbread (7 if making door, 8 if making chimney)
  • prepared icing, white
  • cardboard base for the house
  • pastry bag with medium tip
  • small spatula
  • candies for decorating (peppermints, candy canes, gum drops, cinnamon candies, etc.)
  • coconut for front yard
  • optional: marshmallows for making snowmen, small drink stirrers/straws or toothpicks

Making the frame of the house:

  • Place the cardboard base on a flat surface.
  • Spoon icing into pastry bag.
  • Pipe icing on one back edge and the bottom of a front/back piece of gingerbread.
  • Pipe icing on one side and the bottom of a side piece of gingerbread.
  • Press the two pieces together gently, but with enough pressure to adhere. Press the attached pieces to the cardboard base.
  • Hold the pieces together and against the cardboard base for a few minutes and allow the icing to set.
  • Pipe icing along the bottom and one side of the second side piece. Press this side piece to the cardboard base and the front/back piece of gingerbread already adhered to the cardboard base.
  • Hold new piece in place for several minutes.
  • Pipe icing along both back edges and the bottom of the second front/back piece of gingerbread. Press this front/back piece to the cardboard base and the two side pieces already adhered to the base.
  • Hold new piece in place for several minutes.

The frame of the house is complete. Allow to set for at least an hour. Remember to keep a damp cloth over the unused portion of the icing between applications.

Making the roof of the house:

  • Pipe icing onto each edge of the bottom of a roof piece.
  • Place against the top of the house frame and apply enough gentle pressure to adhere.
  • Hold in place for several minutes.
  • Pipe icing onto each edge of the bottom of the remaining roof piece.
  • Place against the top of the house frame and apply enough gentle pressure to adhere.

The roof of the house is complete. Allow to set for at least an hour. Remember to keep a damp cloth over the unused portion of the icing between applications.

Decorating the house:

  • Cover the roof in a generous amount of white icing to resemble snow
  • Use icing to adhere candy pieces to the front, back, roof and sides of the house.
  • Create a yard out of shredded coconut
  • Be creative - try making patterns with candy pieces, use icing to create doors and windows, make a fence of candy canes or gum drops

To make a snowman for the front yard, see the Marshmallow Snowman craft!