Gingerbread House

Total Time:
1 hr 30 min
1 hr 15 min
15 min

One recipe of dough makes one

Gingerbread House:

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth. Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough. Chill at least 30 minutes or until firm.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut out the following paper patterns for the gingerbread house template:

Two rectangles, 3 by 5 inches, to make the front and back of the house. Two rectangles, 3 by 5 1/2 inches for the roof. Two pieces for the ends of the house, 3 inches wide at the base, 3 inches to the roof line, and slanted to a peak 5 1/2 inches from the bottom. Four smaller rectangles, 1 1/2 by 1 inch for the roof and sides of the entryway. And one piece, 2 inches wide at the base, 1 1/2 inches to the roof line, and slanted to a peak 2 1/2 inches from the bottom for the front of the entryway.

Roll gingerbread dough out to edges on a large, rimless cookie sheet. Place paper patterns onto the rolled out dough. With a sharp, straight edged knife, cut around each of the pieces, but leave pieces in place.

Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes until dough feels firm.

Place patterns on top of the gingerbread again and trim shapes, cutting edges with a straight-edged sharp knife. Leave to cool on baking sheet.

Place royal icing into pastry bag with a writing tip and press out to decorate individual parts of house, piping on decorations, windows, door, etc., as desired. Let dry until hardened.

Glue sides, front and back of house together at corners using royal icing. Place an object against the pieces to prop up until icing is dry (it only takes a few minutes).

Glue the two roof pieces to the pitched roofline of the house. Then, similarly, glue the sides and roof of the entryway together with icing. Attach the entryway to the front of the house.

Continue decorating the house, glueing on gumdrops, licorice and peppermint, as desired.

Royal Icing:

Mix all of the ingredients together using an electric hand mixer, until the icing is smooth and thin enough to be pressed through a pastry bag with a writing tip. Add more lemon juice, if necessary.

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    This was my first gingerbread house. My dough was slightly dry to my liking so before I put it in the refrigerator to chill I add 2 more T of cold water and beat in. The dough came together perfectly. I found that I can use this for a regular gingerbread cookie as well, it just needs a little less cooking time. I was very happy to discover that I didn't even need to flour the surface, I just cut on top of parchment paper. So, no flour to sweep off the cookies...just a nice browned and tasty cookie.
    We doubled this recipe to make it bigger. It was great my bf had to make a 2nd batch and he made it too dry, he used heaping scoops of flour instead of scraping the excess off the top, so the is what your mistakes probably were also... when you are baking it is crucial to follow the main ingredients to the T... if you don't know the proper way to measuring dry and wet ingredients you should google it.
    Couldn't find my recipe that I have used for 25 years. This one is as good. Follow directions carefully. : )
    Just follow the directions and it will turn out. The consistency was perfect. I didn't even chill it. This was my first gingerbread house, and was pleasantly surprised! I have no idea where those who said it was too dry went wrong. I will definitely make this recipe again! Read the directions carefull, and cut it quickly the second time as soon as it comes out of the oven, because it does harden up quickly. Tastes great too! We had a little left over and plan to double it next year to make a larger house. 
    This was the perfect recipe for my Pampered Chef Gingerbread House mold. It showed all the detail and was easy to work. I did have to make 2 batches but the mold is large and also has a Christmas tree and snowman. I did not have any issue with dry dough following the recipe. I did chill it too long so I had to warm it in my hands before being able to work it. The icing was great as well. I used 1/2 peppermint and 1/2 vanilla and it turned out yummy and smelled great too!
    too dry and crumbly to stick  
    together added 1 egg
    Added some vanilla for extra moisture (which you will need after adding flour) and it adds a nice flavor to go with the spice which I added more of because it wasn't very flavorful after the flour. But the recipe overall was pretty good, and was super easy.
    Th dough for this recipe was too dry by just following the directions listed on the website. I had to add 2 more tablespoons of water before it would come together. Once baked, the pieces were too large to use because they no longer fit the pattern and it was too bready to be stable enough to use for construction. The only reason I gave this recipe 2 stars is because it had a great flavor and would be perfect for cookies.
    Double the spices or taste the batter before adding flour. The flour covers them up so the taste should be strong. Kids loved it.
    I made this with my daughters. We tripled the recipe and each made one. It was a lot of fun. I rolled the dough 1/4" thick. Also it should be noted that after baking the gingerbread shapes they need to be trimmed promptly because they crisp up very quickly. We never made gingerbread houses before, so we were all pleasantly surprised at our success. Thanks for the recipe.
    turned out perfect with just a tad more water in the dough & icing! Our first try & it worked great!
    This recipe sucks so bad, i am so angry >:\
    Excellent recipe. Used exactly as instructed except I used a slightly bigger template and still had dough remaining. For those who say it may need more water - you just have to read carefully.
    It was a nice recipe, flavorful.. Assembling the house went well.@ Sherrie97, You can always add more icing sugar to get the consistency you want. If u understood royal you'd know that. Also check to see whether your spices are still potent. Should always check. Seems deary like you just can't bake. Better luck next time.
    The gingerbread was dry, brittle and tasteless. The frosting was too thin.
    I'm making gingerbread house kits for gifts for Christmas this year, so I've made this recipe 5 times now. One time I used margarine instead of butter and it was completely unworkable. Also, a little more water helps, like one more tablespoon. Flavor is great, and it's nice and sturdy. 
    The gingerbread house turned out fantastically! I learned that you have to really roll out that dough to make room for all the shapes. But it turned out perfectly in the oven. The frosting on the other hand didn't turn out so well. So I just bought store-made frosting. It was still sticky enough to keep the pieces together. I will definitely use this recipe again! 
    We made four houses on Christmas Eve. The recipe was quite small for our average sized house mold (The Chef's Toolbox Silicone Gingerbread House Mold. We had good success with the dough since the mold does not require rolling. It came out strong and the icing recipe worked well even though it was a little hard to pipe out. Our houses came out beautiful. I plan to use the recipe next year for our new tradition. 
    PS. I love the flavor!
    I have been making gingerbread houses for many years. I thought that I would try this recipe and was intrigued that this recipe didn't use either an egg or vinegar... It was like trying to role a board, and then when it did finally give enough to role (this was refridgerated for the perscribed 30 mins., the dough CRACKED EVERYWHERE!! I spent hours tring to make this stuff work and the only reward were 3 gingerbread men that resembled Frankenstein due to all of the apparent repaired cracks... Find a recipe that utilizes an egg and vinegar and your experience will probably better than this one proved out to be.... NIGHTMARE!!!
    I googled Beatrice Ojakangas and found the food network recipe on a few sites, but then I found the real recipe. Here it is. I am sure that 1/2 c of water would have made a big difference. 
    1 cup butter, room temperature [226g] 
    1 cup brown sugar, well packed [220g] 
    2 tablespoons cinnamon 
    4 teaspoons ground ginger 
    3 teaspoons ground cloves 
    2 teaspoons baking soda 
    ½ cup boiling water 
    5 cups all-purpose flour [875g] 
    The directions are still the same 
    I think that the dough is great. I had my own pan, so I didn't need the templates that weren't there. I had to make three batches of it before I could fill the pans, and I wonder how big they thought gingerbread houses should be. Since I didn't use the templates, I don't know. They should probably make the recipie larger, but it is fine the way it is I guess. It tastes great so I used the extra to make some cookies. (To ice the cookies I found a really great recipie on a different website, that uses 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar, 4 to 5 tsp. milk, 1 or 2 drops vanilla, and 1 tbsp. butter, softened. It's really good and goes great with the ginger bread. YUM!
    I havn't decorated it yet, but it looks very good even without. I can't wait until it's finished and we can eat it for the holidays!!
    It wasn't the most tasty by itself, but worked OK for building materials. The recipe would've made a SMALL house, though. I had to make five batches for one (two-story colonial) house. I didn't roll out on pan, I rolled out on parchment paper and transferred it to sheet or else sticking would've been terrible. Also: the recipe didn't clarify if you should leave the outside portion of the cut outs on the pan. Sounded like you needed to, so I did on the first batch and the realized it was so wasteful. That changed on the next batches. As for the icing: The recipe was WAAAAY too thin. I had to thicken it up a lot to make it work. I would probably use a different recipe next time.
    I give this 3 stars... based on the following. The directions were very easy to follow. The templates were not included... nor does it say anything about templates being included. The creator of this recipes refers to "figures", however the "figures" are not available. However, they do give the dimensions for you to make your own templates, and they are really easy to follow. The hardest part of this "Gingerbread House" was constructing the pieces together so that they stay. I followed the icing recipe and even added a little more almond extract than it said, and still found the icing to be a little stiff. The icing didn't want to stick to the gingerbread at all. The gingerbread was crumbling in my hands. The last thing, I had a problem with was a final picture of what theirs looked like. I just had to guess where the 5 pieces went. My 2-1/2 daughter enjoyed helping me decorate it. I guess that's what matters. :) Good luck!!!
    I haven't made this yet, but for those looking for templates, she gave the dimensions for the pieces, you make your own...............
    I thought this recipe worked well so far. I'm using my own template and have needed to tripple the recipe. The texture is perfect! All I have done so far is made about 200 little shingles for my massive construction project, they are great!! I did change the recipe a bit to give it more scent, so i think they may not be edible at this point. I used way more spices than it called for and added some orange zest and juice instead of the water. They smell awesome!
    Would've given this 5, but where are the templates?!?!
    I have made gingerbread cookies in the past, but used this new recipe for our first attempt at Gingerbread House construction for the 2009 holidays. It was simple and the houses turned out great. We'll be using it every year.
    The recipe didn't say to grease the cookie sheet, so I didn't. And everything stuck. And shattered. No gingerbread house for me, just crumbs and a huge bag of frosting.
    this recipe waqs very difficult,the icing did not stick to ginger bread and it tasted horrible!
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