How To Make Gingerbread Houses
Make Christmases extra festive by whipping up your own gingerbread houses at home! They’re deliciously spiced, and put together with sweet royal icing.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
Grease the bottom and sides of a heavy-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven with nonstick spray.
Melt the shortening in the greased pot over medium heat. Add the molasses and sugar, bring to a boil, then turn off the heat.
Gradually stir in 4 cups of the flour mixture, 1 cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each addition before adding more.
Dust a work surface with some of the remaining flour mixture. Carefully turn the dough out onto the floured surface and work in the flour mixture.
Once the flour is incorporated, shape the dough into a 12-inch log and cut into 3 portions, 1 piece slightly larger than the others for the roof.
Set aside the smaller pieces of dough in the pot , cover with plastic wrap, and put the lid on.*
On the floured surface, roll out the larger piece of dough to a rectangle about ½-inch thick. Using a house template, cut the 2 pieces of the roof and set on a prepared baking sheet, spacing about 1 inch apart as the dough will expand while baking.
Roll out the rest of the dough and cut out the front, back, and sides of the house using the templates. Place on a baking sheet.**
Bake the gingerbread house pieces for 12 to 15 minutes, until they have hardened and baked through. Let cool completely.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric hand mixer until frothy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the icing is smooth and thick.
To use the icing for decorating, add about 1 teaspoon of water at a time to thin the icing to the desired consistency.
Put the roof pieces side by side with the underside up and the eventual exposed part of the roof down. “Glue” a cut piece of a paper shopping bag across these two pieces with royal icing.
Place 2 small glass bowls on either side of this upside-down roof to prop the pieces up into a “V” shape. Let dry completely. This will help ensure that the roof doesn’t slip down the sides of the house.
Decorate the house with more royal icing and desired decorations.
Serve and enjoy!
- *You’ll want to work with the dough while it’s warm as it tends to harden at room temperature. If it hardens, simply microwave for about 30 seconds.
- **Wrap the leftover dough in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 1 day. Microwave to soften and roll out to make decorations for the house or another gingerbread creation.
- Calories: 749.43kcal
- Fat: 19.72g
- Saturated Fat: 4.54g
- Trans Fat: 2.25g
- Monounsaturated Fat: 8.36g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 5.60g
- Carbohydrates: 138.60g
- Fiber: 1.62g
- Sugar: 96.55g
- Protein: 6.65g
- Sodium: 295.21mg
- Calcium: 70.23mg
- Potassium: 535.13mg
- Iron: 3.93mg
- Vitamin A: 0.05µg
- Vitamin C: 0.02mg
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