How to Build Your Own Gingerbread House
With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season in full swing, it can be tempting to take shortcuts for the sake of simplicity. This year, we're all about doing whatever it takes to make this holiday your easiest, best one yet, but when it comes to building your own gingerbread house, you can skip the store-bought, pre-assembled kit and create your own one from scratch in flash. Believe it not, the gingerbread house pictured above comes together in just 1 hour and 30 minutes thanks to a fuss-free recipe with clear, step-by-step instructions. Learn the basics of making gingerbread houses below, assemble and decorate this simple, seasonal structure with your family, then post a picture of the finished product to Food Network's Facebook timeline.
The beauty of this gingerbread dough in particular is that it can be made entirely in one bowl. After creating a stiff mixture of wet and dry ingredients, however, it's important that the dough chill in the refrigerator for at least a half-hour. This will make it less tacky and far easier for you to roll out.
Just like in actual home construction, the success of your cookie roof and walls is dependent upon careful measurements. Follow this recipe's detailed notes to be sure that you're prepared to cut out the correct shape in the exact size needed.
Since you'll have rolled out your dough on a rimless cookie sheet, there will be no need to move the cutouts from that sheet to another one; just peel away the scraps and leave the shaped pieces as is. This will help to prevent any subtle changes in measurement and ensure that your cookies bake evenly.
The key to cookie construction is having plenty of backup glue — frosting, that is. Just in case one wall breaks or there's a crack in the all-important roof, it's a good idea to have extra royal icing on hand. Use it liberally to make minor home repairs and give structure to the base of the house without worrying that it will detract from your decorations. Luckily, icing is white, so when your creation is complete, any extra frosting will merely look like a blanket of snow.
Visit Food Network's Holiday Central for more recipes and seasonal baking ideas.