Nothing says holidays like a gingerbread house!
Carla Hall's Gingerbread House
- For the Gingerbread:
- 1 cup Butter (softened)
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 1/4 cups Molasses
- 2 Eggs (lightly beaten)
- 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon Cloves
- 1 teapsoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- 6 cups White Flour (plus extra for dusting)
- For the Icing:
- 5 tablespons Meringue Powder
- 1 pound Confectioners' Sugar (plus more if needed)
- 1/4 cup Water (plus more if needed)
- Extras for the Gingerbread House (if desired):
- Candy canes
- Pretzel sticks
- Red hots
- Small peppermint candies
- Small cinnamon candies
- Gum drops
- For Gingerbread: Cut out the template pieces and dust them lightly with flour to prevent sticking.
- Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in molasses and eggs. Then blend half the flour with the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and baking soda, and add to the wet ingredients, mixing well. Add the rest of the flour a little at a time until the dough reaches a consistency that is easy to roll out and shape. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours before working with it.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 Celsius). Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface or between plastic wrap until it is between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. Press as many template pieces as will fit on the rolled out dough and cut around them with a very sharp knife (dusting the knife with flour helps to prevent the dough from sticking to it). Use the remaining dough to make gingerbread men, trees, and house decorations.
- Bake on greased cookie sheets for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, let stand for a few minutes, and then transfer to cooling racks. Don’t attempt to assemble the house until the pieces have cooled completely. When the gingerbread house pieces are ready to use, mix up a batch of royal icing that will act as the glue that holds the house together.
- For Icing: Beat sugar, meringue powder and about 1/4 cup water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until smooth, about 7 minutes. If icing is too thick, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time. If too thin, add more sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time and beat icing longer. Use immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature overnight. Stir before using.
- Assemble house and decorate!