If you're looking for a gingerbread house recipe that is stable for constructing even the most intricate gingerbread houses, look no further! This recipe doesn't contain eggs or other ingredients that can spoil, so the gingerbread dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
This recipe is great for making gingerbread houses but you can also use it to make gingerbread men and other gingerbread cookie ornaments.
Tips for working with gingerbread dough
Coloring the Dough
You can color gingerbread dough small pieces at a time. Start by first adding white paste food coloring to lighten the dough and then knead in any gel paste color you would like.
Rolling out the dough
Roll the dough on parchment paper or silicone liners very thin. Cover until ready to use. Dough must be rolled on parchment to cut pieces and bake so you will not distort the pieces by moving them. Using 2 dowel rods as a guide for thickness of dough, this will ensure you get an even depth so the dough will bake more evenly and pieces will fit together properly. Place the dowels on each side of your parchment and place dough in the middle (space between dowels should be about an inch less than the length of your rolling pin). Cut out your gingerbread pieces and remove the excess dough. Lift the parchment paper and place on a cookie sheet for baking.
Cut designs by hand using patterns printed out from online or found in books. Place pattern on dough leaving approximately ½ inch between pieces to allow for expansion when baking. Cut straight lines using a craft knife or pizza cutter to avoid dragging the dough. Carefully lift away excess dough. If you plan to cut out windows or doors this should be done now. This is also the time you should do any imprinting, example – roof shingles, stone brick or siding.
Glass for windows can be made with crushed hard candy (pillowed in the center) or after baking you can use fruit roll-ups or gelatin sheets for the glass windows. You can also use gumdrops. Grease wax paper; place a gumdrop on paper; fold the paper to cover gumdrop, roll with a rolling pin to thin.
You can also thin dough, color it with food coloring, and pipe designs using a pastry bag and tip.
Prepared pieces should be baked in a 350-degree oven for 10–18 minutes depending on the thickness and size of pieces. For best results, all pieces on a tray should be approximately the same size.
Gingerbread House Recipe
This delicious gingerbread recipe is perfect for making gingerbread houses and other gingerbread cookie decorations.
1 cup shortening
1 ½ cup unsulfured molasses Dark or Light (12 oz. jar)
1 cup sugar
6 cups flour
¼ - ½ cups water
4 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
Melt shortening in a saucepan on the stovetop or in a large bowl in the microwave.
Cool mixture slightly and add molasses and sugar mix well.
Add flour 2 cups at a time and spices, mix well.
Add enough water so the dough is not crumbly. Knead dough on countertop or pastry board.
Roll out and cut cookies and then bake at 350 degrees. Baking time will depend on the thickness and size of the cut out cookies.