Gingerbread is a big thing in our house at Christmas. We usually make gingerbread men and women, or gingerbread trains, or gingerbread trees and snowflakes to decorate. When we have made “gingerbread houses” in the past, we’ve always just used graham crackers. This is the way I made my houses when I was a kid. It’s easy, and no baking and waiting are required. The kids can just start decorating…which is the best part anyway! This year, we decided to make our gingerbread houses from scratch. It took a lot more time, but the gingerbread tasted wonderful and the houses looked great! I hope you enjoy making these gingerbread houses with your family as much as I enjoyed making them with mine!
Gingerbread Houses: (This recipe makes one house)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup cold water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Recipe of Gingerbread Frosting (recipe to follow)
Assorted candy, nuts, cookies, etc. to decorate with
Heat oven to 350F. Grease bottoms and sides of a jelly roll pan with shortening.
In a large bowl, mix the brown sugar…
and the molasses.
Stir in cold water.
Add the flour and the baking soda…
and the ginger, salt, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon.
Mix everything together…go ahead, get your hands in there…until a nice dough ball forms.
Press the dough into the greased jelly roll pan. My kids got really enthusiastic on this step!
Bake for about 15 minutes or until no indentations remain when center is touched. Cool 5 minutes.
Now comes the fun part! Cut shapes: two rectangles, two trapezoids, two squares, and two triangles. Place these shapes on top of your gingerbread, and cut around them.
When you are finished cutting, remove the shapes to a cooling rack.
While your gingerbread is cooling, make your gingerbread frosting…
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
5-6 tsp. milk
Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth and spreadable. This stuff is thick and works just like glue for your house.
Now, back to the gingerbread houses…
Assemble your houses using your gingerbread shapes and your gingerbread frosting.
Let the houses stand for about 30 minutes, or until the frosting is completely set.
Then, you can decorate your house with candy, nuts, cookies, crackers…whatever your little heart desires!
Last, but not least, stand back and admire your artistic abilities. I love my creative little kid’s gingerbread houses!