Step 1: Materials
· Measuring Cup
· Oven Mitt
· Rolling Pin (or in my case a wine bottle)
· Large Telephone Book
· 3 White Pieces of Paper
· Optional: Cookie Cutters
1. In order to build a gingerbread house you must have a pattern to follow. Using 3 blank white pieces of paper draw out these dimensions:
· Front/back of house(x2): roof side=4.5’’, side=5’’, bottom=7’’
· Roof of house(x2): 5.5’’x8.5’’
· Side of house(x2): 5’’x7’’
· Optional: Door: 3.5’’x1.75’’
2. Now that your pattern is neatly cut out you’ll need a gingerbread mix- here are two options that are found in most grocery stores. Costing roughly $2.50
3. Going with the option on the left, “Betty Crocker Gingerbread”, set your oven to 350 degrees
5. Now that the mix is thoroughly mixed together, sprinkle flour on a large cookie sheet, with your floury hands, spoon a large portion of dough on the cookie sheet.
Using a rolling pin (or a wine bottle if a rolling pin is not availableJ), roll the dough flat and even on the cookie sheet.
8. After the 9 minutes, remove the cookie sheet from the oven and let cookie sit for 2-3 minutes.
9. Place a large telephone book on top of the cookie to insure a flat, even cookie.
10. Repeat steps 6 through 9 until all the patterns have been cooked, it is easiest to cook one piece at a time to insure quality.
11. You should have: 2 sides of house, 2 roof pieces, and 1 front of house and 1 back of house.
12. With any extra dough you may have left feel free to make cut out cookies. I chose to create two Christmas tree’s and the word “JOY” to embellish my house with.
Step 7: Preparing the Royal Icing
· 3 egg whites
· 1/8 tsp. cream of tarter
· 1 pound of powdered sugar
3. Mix all three ingredients on LOW speed for 2 minutes until well blended
4. Turn up the speed to HIGH, set the timer and let mix for 6 minutes. The royal icing should be able to hold a peak after the 6 minutes
Step 11: Assembling the Gingerbread House
It is important that you assemble the gingerbread house on something sturdy, and in some cases, transferable. It is best to put down a layer of newspapers to protect your workspace. I chose to assemble the gingerbread house on a cookie tray, but decided to use a cardboard foundation for easy clean up and better visual appeal.
· Sturdy base for assembly (cookie tray, cutting board, cardboard)
· Gingerbread pieces
· Royal icing
· Masking tape
· Optional: Candy and colored icing for decoration.
3. Cut a very small hole in the corner of the royal icing bag. Using the royal icing, pipe an “L” shape for the two adjoining walls. Also, pipe a strip of icing along the inside edge of one wall. Carefully stand the pieces up and hold for several minutes until sturdy.
4. Repeat step 3 until the entire house is standing.
5. It is best to let the four sides dry over night before you attach the roof for maximum dryness of the icing so it can hold.
Step 15: The Next Day
7. Hold the roof in place for several minutes insuring that the royal icing is holding. You can then fill in the peak with more royal icing to insure security.
Step 16: Decorating
1. Begin with the roof. You should have more than enough royal icing left in your Zip Lock bag
2. I chose to draw on the door with royal icing. However, there is an option within the pattern where you can cut out the gingerbread door in the baking process.
3. For asthetic purposes I added candy canes around the door. Pipe a line of royal icing along the candy cane then hold to the gingerbread house for a few minutes to insure security
5. I added white dots along the two sides of the house to add character. I also added sprinkles along the roof and sides for some color.
7. Just like with the word “JOY”, I made Christmas trees with the extra dough and decorated them with decorative frosting for the front yard.
8. With the royal icing I drew “snow” in front of the house, both for visual purposes, and so the Christmas trees would have something to stick to. I added candy sprinkles to the top of the “snow”.
9. Gum drops were added to the front of the house to act as “bushes” then I dripped royal icing over them to create a snow effect.
11. Next, you should begin decorating the roof with the royal icing. I decided to go with a criss-cross look
***During the decorative process feel free to add any candy where you feel necessary. I decided to add small chocolate balls to the peak of my house***
13. You’re almost done, now just decorate with all the extra candy and royal icing you have. I lined bushes along the back, and decorated the back panel with designs, wreaths and candy. Have fun, make it appealing to you!