Ginger Bread House from Scratch

What an awesome project for the whole family - a ginger bread house! Thanks to Becca and Mikaela for making this for us!

Ingredients

Flour 6 Cup (96 tbs)
Baking powder 1/2 Teaspoon
Ground ginger 4 Teaspoon
Salt 1/2 Teaspoon
Ground cinnamon 4 Teaspoon
Ground cloves 1/2 Teaspoon
Unsalted softened butter 3/4 Cup (12 tbs)
Light brown sugar 1 1/2 Cup (24 tbs)
Eggs 2 (at room temperature)
Dark molasses/Dark honey 1 Cup (16 tbs)
Water 1 Tablespoon
For royal icing
Egg whites 2
Confectioners sugar 2 1/3 Cup (37.33 tbs) , sifted

Directions

GETTING READY

1. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, ground ginger, salt, cinnamon, and ground clove. Mix well.

2. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg, one at a time and beat after each addition. Beat in molasses and water.

3. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time into the bowl with cream sugar mixture and beat until just incorporated.

4. Onto a clean board, dump the dough and softly knead until incorporated. Form the mixture into 2 large balls, wrap with plastic and place in refrigerator for minimum of 2 hours or up to a week.

5. Make your patterns for roof, side, and chimney.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degree F or 180 degree C.

MAKING

7. Place a piece of floured parchment paper on a large cutting board. Take out your dough a ball at a time and start rolling it out. It will probably be quite hard so half the dough and work it a little in your hands. Do not over work the dough as it will warm up and you want it to remain cold. Roll out your dough to about 1/4th inch thickness.

8. Place the pattern on the dough and cut them all the way through to the parchment paper. Another way to do this, which might be easier, is to trace the molds onto the parchment paper and cut the pieces in

advance. Whatever you decide, you will need to bake the dough with a piece of parchment paper underneath it.

9. If you are going to have a door and window on your front piece then cut the door and window before baking the piece. If you forget, go ahead and cut it as soon as the cookie comes out of the oven, while it is still warm. Be careful not to break the cookie.

10. Place the dough with its parchment paper on a baking sheet. These cookies will not spread so you do not need to separate them too much. However, do not overcrowd the pan.

11. Bake the small pieces for about 7 to 8 minutes or until they start browning on the bottom. The large pieces will take between 12 to 13 minutes. Half way through baking, turn your baking sheet so everything cooks evenly.

12. Remove the baked pieces from the oven and place the patterns on top after a couple of minutes. If your cookie has lost its shape go ahead and cut it to the right shape. Be very careful not to break the cookie.

13. Allow the cookies to cool down on the sheets for a few minutes. They will be soft but will harden as they get cold. Transfer them to a cooling rack and allow them to cool down completely before you start making the house.

For Icing:

14. In a bowl, place egg white and 1 cup of sugar. Beat well.

15. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Cover the icing with damp paper all the time because they tend to dry fast.

FINALIZING

16. You will have to decide what you are going to assemble your house on. We used the bottom of a cake carrier and wrapped it in foil. You can use a large platter or thick cardboard or a cutting board as well.

17. If you want to be successful with this you will have to be patient. Wait until all the parts are dry before you add more. What is more, let the whole house dry completely before you start decorating. We glued the chimney on the last day because we wanted to keep the house securely covered and were afraid that the chimney might not make it. We only did this because we live in the tropics and were afraid our house would be relocated by an army of ants!

18. Place some of the icing in a piping bag or a baggie which you have cut one of the corners off – if you are using a bag make sure to make a small cut.

19. Once you are ready to put your house together you will start with the back and one of the side walls.

20. Stand the piece on the item you have decided to use (board, platter, etc.). Eyeball the length of the back wall and pipe a thick generous amount of icing to cover that length. Place the wall on it and carefully

hold it into place – until it does not tip over if you let go. Reinforce the inside edge with more icing.

21. Now do the same with the side wall. Lay the side wall flat on the side it will go and eyeball the length.

22. Pipe a generous amount of icing on the board and on the side of the back wall where you will glue the wall. Hold the side wall in place until it is completely glued. Go ahead and pipe some extra icing on the sides and corners of the side wall. You want to reinforce it as much as you can so the house does not collapse when you place the roof on because it is heavy and big.

23. All the decorating candies will also be heavy so you really need a good foundation for success. So, again, be patient and generous with your icing.Repeat the process with the second side wall. Wait until everything is completely set before you add the front wall. This is very important.

24. Now place the front wall. You will not need icing at the door opening so place the piece on its back and eyeball the length of those pieces. Do not forget to add icing to the sides where the wall will adhere. Cover the whole side so it glues well.

25. Hold on to the front piece until it is completely glued to the side walls. Make sure to reinforce the sides with extra icing. 26. Once the house is set it is time to add the roof. Measure the pieces to see that they will fit well. Apply icing only to the edges where the roof will be glued. The roof is the part you will have to hold the longest as they are both the largest pieces and the heaviest. Press down softly on the parts until they are completely adhered to the house.

26. Once you have that ready glue your chimney. We found that we had to cut one of the flat pieces on the diagonal in order to ensure that the whole thing would glue to the roof.

27. You can glue the chimney to the roof now or wait until tomorrow. I do not recommend that you decorate the house as of yet. Wait for a day for all the parts to be securely adhered.

28. On the following day go ahead and decorate your house to your hearts content. Use your imagination and add as much candy as you would like. We used wheat cereal for our roof. If you have frosted wheat squares that would work beautifully as it will look like snow. Whatever you do, have loads of fun.

SERVING

29. Serve and enjoy!

TIPS

You might need more than one recipe of icing for your gingerbread house, depending on how much you use. We used 1 ½ recipes.

For Patterns:

Use a thick piece of paper for your patterns. Cardboard is probably the best option. Although you can make your house as big as you want these are the measurements we used.

For the chimney you will need 1 rectangular piece measuring 3x1 inches 1 rectangular piece measuring 1 ½ x 1 inch and 1 pieces measuring 2 ¾ x 1x 1 ½ inches (you will cut out 2 pieces like this for the chimney sides).

For the sides you will need 1 rectangular piece measuring 3x5 inches which you will use to cut out 2 pieces of dough with.

For the front and back you will need a rectangle that is 7 ½ x 5 ½ inches. You will cut a roof slant leaving a 3 inch tall wall. Draw the window and door on the pattern and cut them out after you have cut the back wall from dough. Then proceed to cut the window and door on the dough before baking.

For the roof you need a 6 ½ x 7 inches pieces. You will cut 2 pieces of dough with this pattern.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: Bit Difficult
Servings: 11

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 682Calories from Fat 125

 % Daily Value*

Total Fat 14 g21.5%

Saturated Fat 8 g40%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol

Sodium 131 mg5.46%

Total Carbohydrates 129 g43%

Dietary Fiber 3 g12%

Sugars 67 g

Protein 9 g18%

Vitamin A % Vitamin C %

Calcium % Iron %

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet