This was a really fun project.
I was highly skeptical as I made this dough. As I mixed together the batter, it seemed quite crumbly, and I was not convinced that it would really stick together. I managed to mash it all together, wrapped it in plastic and put it in the fridge overnight. Per the recipe, I took the dough out of the fridge shortly before I planned to roll it out. Hard as a rock and completely unroll-able. I let it sit on the counter for an hour or so and then I was able to mash it down enough to start rolling. In the end, it turned out beautifully. I didn’t have any trouble with the dough warping in the oven, and the final pieces were quite sturdy. All that worry for nothing 🙂
Before you start making this gingerbread house, double-check your supplies and go to the grocery store! This recipe just about cleaned me out of flour, molasses and ground ginger, and I still had 4 dozen molasses cookies to make.
You can either design your own cardboard pattern or use the template that Simply Recipes posted. Once the gingerbread pieces have cooled completely, use the royal icing to glue the house together. Decorate with your favorite candy.
This recipe yielded enough dough for a 6″ square house plus roof, plus a few spare pieces (in case something broke). I made a double batch of royal icing. Even though we went crazy with it, we still had a lot left over.
Adapted from Simply Recipes
6 c flour
4 tsp ground ginger
4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 c molasses
1 T water
1) In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder and salt.
2) In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar until well combined.
3) Beat in eggs, molasses and water until smooth.
4) Mix in flour, in two batches, until well combined; knead dough by hand, as necessary.
5) Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.
6) Allow dough to sit at room temperature until malleable; cut dough into 2-3 pieces.
7) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
8) Roll first dough piece to 1/4″ thickness.
9) Use cardboard pattern and a sharp knife to cut out pieces.
10) Carefully transfer pieces to a flat, well-greased cookie sheet.
11) Bake for 12-13 minutes, rotating cookie sheet halfway through.
12) Transfer pieces to cooling rack; if necessary, trim pieces while still slightly warm.
13) Repeat with remaining dough until all pieces have been baked.
2 egg whites
2 2/3 – 3 c powdered sugar
1) In a small mixer bowl, beat together egg whites and 1 1/3 c powdered sugar until smooth.
2) Add additional 1 1/3c powdered sugar; beat until stiff peaks form; add more sugar as necessary.
3) Cover icing bowl with damp towel to prevent it from drying out.