Blog

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House


Happy Gingerbread House Day! Building gingerbread houses is a classic holiday tradition spent with friends and family. These delicious and decorative holiday treats are fun to make and even better to eat. To celebrate Gingerbread House Day, take the kids out to the grocery store and pick up the ingredients for a gingerbread house. The kids will especially enjoy picking out the candies they want to use for house decoration! Here’s our favorite gingerbread recipe that always brings a smile to our faces during the holidays. 

Ingredients

For the Gingerbread:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light molasses or dark corn syrup
  • 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

For Assemblage and Decoration:

  • Melted white chocolate or Royal Icing, recipe follows
  • Gumdrops, licorice and peppermint, as desired

For the Icing:

  • 1 pound (3-3/4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • 1 to 2 large egg whites, or substitute 4 teaspoons packaged egg whites and 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract, vanilla or lemon juice

Directions

Gingerbread:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth. Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough. Chill at least 30 minutes or until firm.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Cut out the following paper patterns for the gingerbread house template:
    Two rectangles, 3 by 5 inches, to make the front and back of the house.
    Two rectangles, 3 by 5 1/2 inches for the roof.
    Two pieces for the ends of the house, 3 inches wide at the base, 3 inches to the roof line, and slanted to a peak 5 1/2 inches from the bottom.
    Four smaller rectangles, 1 1/2 by 1 inch for the roof and sides of the entryway.
    One piece, 2 inches wide at the base, 1 1/2 inches to the roof line, and slanted to a peak 2 1/2 inches from the bottom for the front of the entryway.
  4. Roll gingerbread dough out to edges on a large, rimless cookie sheet. Place paper patterns onto the rolled out dough. With a sharp, straight edged knife, cut around each of the pieces, but leave pieces in place.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes until dough feels firm.
  6. Place patterns on top of the gingerbread again and trim shapes, cutting edges with a straight-edged sharp knife. Leave to cool on baking sheet.

Royal Icing:
Mix all of the ingredients together using an electric hand mixer, until the icing is smooth and thin enough to be pressed through a pastry bag with a writing tip. Add more lemon juice, if necessary.

Assembly

  1. Gather your now cooled gingerbread shapes. Place royal icing into pastry bag with a writing tip and press out to decorate individual parts of the house, piping on decorations, windows, door, etc., as desired. Let dry until hardened.
  2. Glue sides, front and back of house together at corners using royal icing. Place an object against the pieces to prop up until icing is dry (it only takes a few minutes).
  3. Glue the two roof pieces to the pitched roofline of the house. Then, similarly, glue the sides and roof of the entryway together with icing. Attach the entryway to the front of the house.
  4. This is the really fun part — decorating your gingerbread house! Grab those gumdrops, licorice, peppermint, etc., and (using the icing) glue them to your house.

Have fun and happy decorating!

This recipe is adapted by Food Network from a recipe courtesy of Beatrice Ojakangas.