After reading that many of you have had bad experiences making gingerbread houses from kits this year, I decided to share my recipe and a few templates. I've used this same recipe for quite a few years, and it's never failed. It tastes yummy, too!
Templates: Click on the link, and print.
Gingerbread House Style 1
Gingerbread House Style 2 Part I
Gingerbread House Style 2 Part II
Step 1- Baking!
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 tsp. ground ginger
4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 tsp. ground black pepper pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
3/4 c. molasses
6 cups all purpose flour
In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add salt, spices, eggs, and molasses. Mix well. Add flour, 2 cups at a time, until well blended.
Divide dough into thirds, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Roll dough out on heavily floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut pieces out from templates. If you want to cut out doors or windows, do that now.
For gingerbread house pieces, bake 13-15 minutes. For cookies, bake 8-10 minutes.
Step 2 - Building!
1. Mix royal icing.
2. Set out a plate or board on which you are going to build your house.
3. Use icing to attach sides to the front and back of the house. Support the sides with cans as you go so it doesn't fall over. Attach roof with icing as well. Let dry several hours before decorating.
Step 3- Decorate!
Be creative! Using royal icing, attach various candies, cereals, pretzel sticks, and marshmallows to your house. The sky is the limit! Use your imagination!
Royal Icing: 4 cups powdered sugar 3 T Meringue powder 6 T warm water
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
NOTE: Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency. This icing must be covered with a damp paper towel or dishcloth to keep it from drying out while you are working on it.
* For stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.
** Meringue Powder is made by Wilton and can be found at cake and candy stores as well as the craft section of Wal*Mart.
I'd love to see pictures of your finished homes, too!