I love family traditions!! Each year we have been getting together with some friends and decorating gingerbread houses. They are a bit of work to make, cut out, glue together, etc. But oh so worth it!!
I use my gingerbread men recipe- because it's awesome.
1/4 c. boiling water
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 c. molasses
3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 c. sugar
*Red Hots* (for buttons)
Frosting (for gingerbread men- not the houses)
Melt butter in boiling water. Add all the other ingredients. Then chill the dough for 2 hours. Roll out and cut into shapes. Push red hots (buttons) into the men before baking. Bake at 350 degree for 8-10 minutes. Cool and decorate with frosting. Makes 24 cookies.
I had to make 2 double batches for 2 gingerbread houses- My houses were pretty big though.
Make a pattern out of paper- so cut out 4 walls, 2 roof parts, 4 chimney parts, tape it all together to make sure it fits well. Cut or remove the tape and use the paper pieces to cut out all the pieces.
I used Jolly Ranchers for the windows- breaking them to pieces in the food processor. Put the walls on a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet and pile some broken clear candy pieces in the windows. Bake as directed.
The gingerbread house pieces need to sit out and "cure" for at least a day- I find that several days work best. They need to be hard and stiff.
"Gluing" takes another day or so.
3 Egg whites
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
3 1/2- 4 c. powdered sugar
Beat egg whites till they are stiff, continue beating and sprinkle in the cream of tartar, then mix in the powdered sugar slowly until it reaches the consistency that you need.
Put the frosting in a piping bag. "Glue" the walls to a foil covered cardboard and to each other. You can see how I did it step-by-step here.
You will need to do the floors/walls first, use jars or glasses to hold them while they dry and then do to roof/chimney after a few hours. After the glue is dry and the house feels sturdy it is ready to decorate! It's all edible... but we've never wanted to eat it, we let it sit out on display for the month of December.
Other Gingerbread we've done:
Gingerbread Hobbit Hole
Pictures of gingerbread men