Instructables

How to create gingerbread houses

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While it's technically "that time of year" again, I think that gingerbread houses are fun for any holiday. I started having gingerbread house parties last Christmas as my way of bringing a family tradition (thanks Aunt Denise!) to my new digs in Los Angeles. It was so much fun I did gingerbread houses again for my Halloween party (they were haunted houses, geddit?), and now I'm working on my second winter gingerbread party. I've been asked how to put together houses so that others can host their own parties, and I'm happy to share the fun!

Step 1: Day One: Shopping

If you're working, going to school, or are just busy, you're going to want to start preparing for your party a few days in advance.

SHOPPING
Go over your recipes and take stock of what's in your kitchen. If you're not a big baker, and if you've never made gingerbread before, it's likely you don't have some of the essential tools and ingredients. If you do like to get busy in the kitchen, make sure you have enough of everything. It'll save you 11th hour trips to the store (or save you from having to beg your boyfriend to go for you).

INGREDIENTS
Here's what you'll need for one batch of gingerbread. Each batch will make about two 3" x 5" houses, so plan accordingly.

Gingerbread:
1 C. (2 sticks) margarine
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. unsulfured molasses
3 eggs
8 - 9 C. sifted all-purpose flour
1 tblsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Spice Mix:
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground ginger

(NOTE: I've found that the below frosting recipes were enough for 7-8 houses.)

Royal Icing (the "cement" icing):
Meringue powder (from bakery or craft stores)
Water
1 lb. powdered sugar

Buttercream frosting (the colored decorating frosting):
1/3 cup of butter or margarine
4 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
milk (until you get the desired texture)
food coloring

TOOLS
Some of these tools are simple, some are unexpected. Some are also recommendations, but not necessary.

Kitchenaid mixer (nice if you can get it, but it's not necessary)
multiple pastry bags / tips
mixing bowls
cookie racks
paper plates (large, sturdy plates for houses)
Saran Wrap
spatulas
cookie cutters (if desired)
cookie sheets
apron
oven mits
electric mixer
forks
knives
spoons
serving bowls
paper towels
measuring spoons
measuring cups
Ziploc bags
cups
rolling pin
cutting board
long sewing straight pins w/ plastic balls on the ends
candy, sprinkles, etc. for decorating

Once you have everything you need...
 
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I might make a gingerbread Companion Cube! Its been a week after beating the game and im still thinking with portals XD!!!
a7xforlife5 years ago
We're making these in foods class! My group is making a castle. :-D
vianka995 years ago
that looks yummy. ill try one.
Don't forget the gingerbread "for sale - bank owned" sign!
yummy;) i hope that my schools foods class lets the students take some "home" then i'll get some in geometry class
HORRIBLE NEWS: I DIDN'T GET ANY GINGERBREAD HOUSE :( :( :( :( :(
chiok6 years ago
Sweet! (no pun intended) I made lots of gingerbread lately but never had the idea to actually build a house. I'm wondering whether it would be possible to bake the gingerbread in a "house" shape instead of assembling with royal icing. Some sort of support structure would be required. I thought it might impress some of my civil eng friends.
trebuchet036 years ago
I've always had more fun building gingerbread houses compared to eating them... which lead me to discover just how fire retardant these things actually are :p
do you think they would stand a plasma cutter
SpinWard6 years ago
Very nice and creative. Great instructable on how to cook it and cut it out! My sister cheated last week and made little redneck trailers out of icing and graham crackers complete with clothes line, car on blocks, and couch on the front porch!! Endless possibilities!!
interesting, think shell do a farm next with chicken houses
Brennn106 years ago
Add this to the burning questions!
i always want to do this, these are freaking good!