How to Make a Gingerbread House

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Add some sugar and spice to your holidays with a homemade gingerbread house. The bright colors and icing details give holiday decor a homespun look. Use a gingerbread house as a centerpiece on the dining room table or place it in an entryway to greet guests.

Add some sugar and spice to your holidays with a homemade gingerbread house. The bright colors and icing details give holiday decor a homespun look. Use a gingerbread house as a centerpiece on the dining room table or place it in an entryway to greet guests.

 

Gingerbread House Construction

Step 1

Get inspired with your gingerbread house design. The simple box with the two roof segments overhanging the walls has given way to all manner of gingerbread houses, including Tudors, Victorians and castles. Keep your design contained enough, however, to accommodate wall sizes no larger than the baking sheet.

Step 2

Begin by making the gingerbread segments for the house. Sift the flour with the baking soda into a bowl. Mix in the spices. In a separate mixing bowl, cream brown sugar and white sugar into the butter. Add the molasses and eggs and beat the mixture until it’s fluffy. Gradually add in the dry ingredients mixture, keeping the speed low. Cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate the dough for about an hour. (see below for ingredients).

Step 3

Prepare to bake the gingerbread dough. Dust flour on a wooden board and roll the chilled dough until it’s no more than 1/8-inch thick. Sketch walls, roof segments, a chimney and any other architectural elements you might want to include on stiff, white paper. Cut out the paper and place it on the gingerbread dough, cutting around the edges of the paper. Place the cut pieces of gingerbread dough on baking sheets and chill again for about 20 minutes. Immediately place the baking sheets in an oven preheated to 325 degrees. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, checking to make sure the edges do not burn.

Step 4

Use packaged icing or make your own by combining royal icing mix with 3 to 4 tablespoons of water. Use a whisk to beat the icing mix until it stiffens. Spoon the mix into a pastry bag or a large zipper-style plastic bag. Cut off the tip of the bag.

Step 5

Set up a base for your gingerbread house to add stability and make it easy to move. You can use a baking sheet, a thin piece of plywood coated in foil or a thick piece of cardboard and foil. Set the house’s walls in the positions you want them, using cans or bottles to hold them in place. Squeeze the icing onto the edges of the walls to adhere them to each other. Let the icing dry. Attach the pieces for the roof in the same way and let them dry.

Step 6

Decorate your gingerbread house. Use icing to adhere heavier elements such as chocolate kisses, gumdrops, hard candies and mints. Add icing trim in swirls or points. Create a walkway lined with small candy canes or gumdrops and finish it off with a fine dusting of powdered sugar snow.

Warnings

  • Keep gingerbread houses in areas that do not attract ants.

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