Gingerbread houses are a delightful holiday tradition that pleasures children and adults alike. Crafting these edible abodes is a creative endeavor and a delightful way to bond with loved ones during the festive season. However, you will need more than gingerbread and Icing to embark on this sweet architectural expedition. This article will discuss the ingredients, equipment, and techniques necessary to create a gingerbread house that will center your holiday decorations.
How To Make a Gingerbread House?
- Prep Time: 2 Hrs
- Cook Time:15 Mins
- Drying Time: 60 Mins
- Total Time: 3 Hrs 15 Mins
For the Gingerbread House Dough
- Six Cups (828g) All-Purpose Flour, Plus More for Rolling the Dough
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- Four Teaspoons of Ground Ginger
- Four Teaspoons of Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves or Allspice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 3/4 Cup (170g) Butter,
- 1 1/2 Cups (284g) Packed Brown Sugar
- Two Large Eggs
- 1 Cup Molasses
- 1 Tablespoon Water
- For the Royal Icing
- Two Large Egg Whites
- 2 2/3 Cups Powdered Sugar, Divided
- Stand Mixer
- Piping Bag or Freezer Bag
Make The Gingerbread Dough
1. Mixing Flour and Spices:
Combine the Flour, Ginger, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, Cloves or Allspice, and Salt Using a Whisk in a Massive Bowl. Put away.
2. Mix the butter, sugar, egg, and molasses:
Using a stand mixer with a blade attachment, mix butter and brown sugar on a medium speed until the batter is light, fluffy, and fully mixed. Beat the eggs, molasses, and Water together until thoroughly combined.
3. Combine the dry and wet ingredients and knead the Dough:
Half of the flour mixture should be stirred into the molasses mixture until smooth and thoroughly combined. Mix in the remaining flour until you have a nice, compact dough.
Set the Dough out onto a surface that has been lightly floured and mix it five to six times by hand until it is soft and well-blended. If the Dough is excessively moist, add a little more flour.
4. Divide the dough, wrap and chill it:
The Dough is divided in half, pressed into disks, and then wrapped in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at Least Two Hours, Ideally Overnight.
You Can Prepare It Up to 3 Days Ahead of Time. Ten minutes minimum at room temperature before rolling out.
Preparing The Gingerbread House Pieces
1. Create and Cut the Pattern Parts:
Create a Pattern for a Gingerbread House by Cutting Pieces from Our Printable Gingerbread House Templates. They should print with the right sizes (1 inch on the pattern is 1 inch in real life), but if they don’t, the sizes are written on the pattern, so you can use a ruler to make your own.
You can use the regular paper template pieces as-is or trace them onto stiffer paper, such as a Manila folder or cardboard. The Cardboard Is Nearly as Thick as the Gingerbread House Pieces, and You Can Easily Construct a House Model with the Pieces.
2. Prepare the oven and Baking Sheets:
Set the oven rack in the middle and heat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two to three cookie sheets for baking.
3. Roll out the dough:
Spread Parchment Paper on an Extensive, Flat Surface for Rolling. Sprinkle Flour Lightly Across the Paper.
Using a rolling pin and one piece of Dough at a time, roll out the Dough until it is 14 inches thick and even. Add a Little Flour to the Surface of the Dough, and Roll It Out to Determine if It Sticks.
Suppose it sticks to the rolling pin or surface; dust it with additional flour. If the Dough you’ve rolled out is very soft, you might want to put it in the freezer for an hour before you cut out the forms.
4. Cut out shapes in the dough with pattern pieces:
Apply a Small Amount of Flour to the Dough’s Surface. Place the pattern pieces on the Dough, as many will fit. Utilize a Small, Sharp Knife to Cut Out the Pattern Pieces from the Dough, and Wipe the Knife’s Surface Frequently.
Depending on the softness of the Dough, it may be necessary to use scissors to cut the parchment paper. You can cut the patterns out of the Dough and parchment paper, then place the dough pieces along with the paper directly on cookie sheets.
If you are not using sheets of parchment paper, you may need a big metal spatula to move the dough pieces to a prepared baking sheet.
Put an inch between each piece on the cookie sheet. If dough pieces stretch out during transfer, push them back into shape.
You can cut out the door and/or window(s) now or wait until after baking, shortly after the pieces have been removed from the oven and while the cookies are still warm.
Bake at 350°F until the edges darken, 11 to 15 minutes for larger pieces and 6 to 8 minutes for smaller ones.
For more uniform browning, rotate the cookie sheets halfway through baking. Remove the Sheets to the Racks to Cool for Roughly Fifteen Minutes.
6. Trim the pieces while warm:
While the pieces are still slightly warm, place the pattern pieces over them and cut off any parts of the pieces that have extended past the pattern due to cooking.
Remove Cooling Pieces and Place Them Directly on Cooling Racks.
Make The Royal Icing
1. Make the royal icing:
Whisk the egg’s whites and 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar until smooth.
If you intend to consume your gingerbread at home and are concerned about the safety of raw eggs, heat the egg white and powdered sugar combination in a double boiler until it reaches 160° Fahrenheit, but no higher than 170 degrees Fahrenheit. You may also use pasteurized liquid or dried egg whites.
2. Add more powdered sugar, beat to stiff peaks:
Add the last 1 1/3 cups of sugar powder to the eggs and sugar mixture. Using an electric mixer, beat the Icing until it makes stiff peaks. Add More Powdered Sugar if It Does Not Form Stiff Peaks.
3. Place a dampened clean towel over the bowl of royal icing:
Maintain this towel over the Icing to prevent it from drying out as you work with it.
4. Pipe the icing with a pastry bag or cut freezer bag:
Fill a pastry bag with the Icing when ready to mortar or decorate. If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can make one out of a resealable plastic freezer bag by cutting off one of the bag’s corners. For More Controlled Piping, You Can Use Plastic or Metal Piping Tips With a Freezer Bag, Available in Grocery Stores.
Build The House Using Royal Icing As Mortar
This Is Where It Is Extremely Helpful to Have More Than Two Hands Working on a House, and This Is Why Building a Gingerbread House Is So Much More Fun With Others Than Alone. If you are working alone, it may be helpful to grab some canned goods from the pantry and use them to prop up the pieces as the icing mortar dries.
1. Pick and line a base:
Choose a Stable Base for Your Gingerbread House, such as a Flat Cookie Sheet or a Thick, Robust Piece of Cardboard. Line the bottom with aluminum foil or wax paper if you wish.
2. Mortar the sides of the house with royal icing:
Along one of the short ends of the side pieces, pipe a thick line of Icing. Press the frozen side piece against the edge of the front or back piece.
Hold for a Few Minutes Until the Icing Is Partially Set. Repeat with the Additional Side Piece. If Necessary, Use Cans as Support.
Repeat with the remaining short edges of the front/back and side pieces.
Pipe Icing around the inside and outside seams of the house to seal any gaps and add more stability. Pipe Icing Along the House’s Edges Wherever the Foundation Meets.
Wait at Least One Hour Before Attempting to Attach the Roof Pieces.
3. Mortar in the roof with royal icing:
Once the royal Icing has sufficiently hardened and the base structure is stable, you can begin working on the roof. Pipe Icing Along the Top Edges of the Building’s Front, Rear, and Two Sides.
The shingles are rectangular. Place the roof panels so that the long sides of the rectangle run along the house’s roof.
It is helpful to have two people working together to place the roof pieces on the house simultaneously to meet easily at the top center and extend out slightly to form an overhang on each end.
Hold the Roof Pieces in Place for a Few Minutes, or Until They Are Firm Enough That They Will Not Fall When You Remove Your Hands.
Extra Icing is applied to the top seam of the house. At Least One Hour, and Preferably Eight Hours, Should Pass Before Decorating the Home.
4. Mortar the chimney with royal icing:
Because of the roof’s pitch, calculating the chimney’s dimensions can be a bit tricky.
It is most convenient to assemble the chimney upside down and separately from the house. Put the Pieces Together Using Royal Icing, and Allow to Set Until Stable.
Then, flip the chimney over and secure it to the roof using piped royal Icing. You Can Either Do This Immediately After the House Is Completely Set (1 Hour After Assembly) or Later During the Decorating Phase.
5. Decorate the house:
Decorate Your Gingerbread House with Royal Icing and Candies, Including Red Hots, Gum Drops, Candy Canes, Chocolate Truffles, or Anything Else You Choose.
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