When making a gingerbread house, you must start with a sturdy foundation! This recipe for gingerbread house dough is just that! Once you have baked the walls of your house go to town and decorate as you please! This strong house will definitely support all the peppermints and candy canes you decorate with!
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon vinegar
3 tablespoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
For Edible Construction Icing:
1 cup powered sugar
2 tablespoons water
Cream together margarine, shortening and sugar. Beat in egg, and gradually add molasses and vinegar. Sift together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients, 1 cup at a time to mixture, beating until thoroughly combined. You may have to knead in the last cup of flour mixture if you don’t have a strong electric mixer or you may burn out the motor. Form a ball out of the gingerbread dough, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 3 hours.
Divide the gingerbread dough in 1/2, keeping any unused dough cover in plastic wrapped and chilled. Roll out 1/2 of the dough on a heavily floured sheet of aluminum foil. Use one sheet separate per each gingerbread house piece, that way you can transfer your cut cookie house pieces to the cookie sheet without stretching the dough out of shape. It is best to use a heavy rolling pin so you have a nice smooth surface for your walls. Scatter flour on top of the dough so the dough doesn’t stick to the pin while rolling. Roll out the dough to an even 1/4” thickness. Uneven dough will bake at different. rates, causing one part of a wall to be too soft while a thinner edge may brown too quickly. Scrape the rolling pin during the process as bits of dough tend to cling and make depressions in the surface or they stick to the surface and bubble while baking.
Place your cardboard house patterns* on the rolled out dough and cut out the gingerbread house pieces using a sharp knife. Place the individual sheets of aluminum foil with the cut house pieces on them on a cookie sheet. If you only have a couple of cookie sheets, don’t roll out all the dough and cut all the house pieces at once, leaving them un-chilled while the other ones bake. Measure how many and which one of your house pieces will fit on each sheet and plan accordingly, keeping any unused gingerbread dough chilled until ready to use.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until the gingerbread turns a rich brown color and is a little over baked. If your corners or sides are browning quicker than the center of the house pieces, with make an aluminum foil tent and cover directly over the problem areas only. Test for done-ness by touching the center and if it is firm and almost hard, it is done. Let your gingerbread house pieces cool completely before removing them from the cookie sheets. Leave the gingerbread uncovered in a cool place so it has a chance to settle and wait at least three hours before building your house.
Hint: Do not double this recipe.
For Edible Construction Icing:
Mix sugar and water together.
Use to put gingerbread house together.
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