If you are interested in making a gingerbread house from ingredients in your kitchen and supermarket then this is the perfect guide to making a simple and easy, home baked gingerbread house. First, we will bake the walls and roof in the oven like large sections of gingerbread cookie walls. To do this you will need the following ingredients.
- 7 cups flour
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup molasses
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ginger
- 1 cup water
This is enough to build a standard size gingerbread home. Keep in mind for a miniature house you could cut the measurements in half or for a gingerbread mansion you could even double the ingredients. You could try fun and creative style houses including a three story house, but I cannot guarantee a perfect finished product like this recipe.
In a smaller bowl mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger with a hand mixer. Then in a different larger mixing bowl mix the following ingredients together with a stand mixer, such as a KitchenAid Mixer. Vegetable shortening, brown sugar and vanilla. You will want to mix these until they are smooth and creamy in texture with no lumps in the batter.
Next you will slowly mix these bowls of ingredients together into the large stainless steel mixing bowl. Only pouring half in to start with. After mixing half of the dry bowl of ingredients into the bowl of batter you will now need to add half of the cup of water. It is very important to mix the water in very well before adding the rest of the flour. To maintain the quality of your gingerbread structure these steps are key. Then add the remainder of the flour, then water while the entire time mixing at a steady pace. I suggest you use a large wooden spoon for this job. Hand mixers are not suggested as it gets to be a thick texture not appropriate for food processors or egg beaters due to the thickness of of the molasses and dry ingredients.
Once this dough is stiff and consistent you are ready to cut the shapes after rolling it out onto a cut countertop with a rolling pin. Cut the shapes of the walls that you want so you can bake them to create the structure of your gingerbread house. I suggest measuring four (4) 9×9 and one (1) 10×10 square shapes with your dough. Remember to do a traditional gingerbread house you need four walls (the 9×9 pieces) and one roof piece. By making the roof just a little bit bigger it will rest upon edges of the four walls with ease after they are already secured properly. If you want your roof to come up to a point instead of being a square measure up one side of each about 2 inches tapering to a point. Be sure to note this and then measure your roof accordingly.
Bake these pieces at 350 degrees for 8-14 minutes or until desired firmness. These pieces should not be burnt but stiff and hard to the touch to make good secure walls. Wait until these pieces have cooled to bind them together with icing. In the meantime you can make this icing that will be the glue of your gingerbread house. This is another simple, easy home made recipe using only three ingredients.
- 3 tablespoons powdered egg whites or meringue powder.
- 16 ounces confectioners’ icing sugar. This is the size of a standard box.
- 1/4 cup warm water.
This makes a decent amount of icing and should be enough to hold your standard size gingerbread house together and icing for the roof if you want the appearance of snow. You can also use real egg whites but I have found that the powder makes a much more glue like texture so I usually stick with what works and is easy. Real egg whites whipped could be too delicate for holding heavy gingerbread walls together so I do not suggest this technique for success.
In a medium bowl mix these ingredients together with an egg beater at first on low speed and then up higher to a medium high setting to create a thick and rich texture. This should take some where in the time frame of 5 to 8 minutes on med-high and low beating. To thin the icing out you can add more water and to thicken the texture of the icing you can add more icing sugar. Do this until you find a desired density.
Cover this directly with plastic wrap or a plastic bag against the icing in a bowl if you are not using it immediatley to prevent it from hardening up or drying out. If you want multiple colors of icing then divide after first mixing and add food color drops until desired vibrancy. Also cover icing in between decorating if you take a break or do multiple sessions.
When assembling your gingerbread structure first you must secure one wall at a time with icing and holding it until it drys for about 3-5 minutes. You must do this for each side. You must complete all four walls before attaching the roof. I suggest building your gingerbread house on a solid board, or piece of cardboard or solid platform that is easy to move without compromising the structure of the gingerbread house. Where ever you build this it is going to stay on that surface until it is destructed.
Afterward decorate with icing, candy canes, jelly beans, chocolate kisses, smarties or m m`s or any choice of your favorite holiday treats. Make fun decorations by using props from dollar stores like miniature trees for the yard or a even a “Barbie” bench. For a snowy effect or for a smoke coming out of a chimney effect you can use cotton candy. This is a perfect added visual effect and tasty treat.
This makes a great activity for families or a fun personalized gift for your loved ones. Enjoy creating your perfect, custom gingerbread holiday home.
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