Gingerbread House (Recipe And Pattern)

For the Gingerbread: – 1 cup molasse – 1 cup vegetable shortening – 2 tsp baking soda – 1/2 cup water – 1 cup granulated sugar – 2 egg – 1 tsp vanilla extract – 7 cups all-purpose flour – 1/2 tsp ground clove – 1 tsp ground cinnamon – 1 tsp salt – 1 tsp ground ginger

For the Royal Icing: – 4 egg white – 2 lbs powdered sugar (about 6-7 cups) – 2 tsp cream of tartar

Make the Gingerbread Dough: – In a large saucepan, combine molasses and shortening. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and water and stir to dissolve, set aside.

Bring the molasses and shortening to a boil, stirring frequently. Once boiling, remove from heat and stir in the soda/water mixture, mixing well to combine.

Add the molasses mixture to the sugar/egg mixture and mix well to combine. Add the flour, salt, and spices and mix to combine. Place dough in a large ziplock bag and shape it into a large, flat disk inside the bag.

Bake the gingerbread house pieces: Preheat your oven to 375°F. Remove the gingerbread dough from the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. 

Place a damp towel on your countertop and place a piece of wax or parchment paper on top of the towel. Lightly dust your hands and one of the pieces of gingerbread with flour. Roll the piece into a large rectangle, no more than 1/4 inch thick.

Place the gingerbread on a large baking sheet or jelly-roll pan and bake at 375°F for 11-12 minutes. Remove from oven and cut your house pattern pieces while the gingerbread is still warm.

Royal Icing for gingerbread houses: Place all ingredients in a metal mixing bowl. Beat until smooth and standing peaks form (about 4-6 minutes).

Keep the bowl covered with a damp cloth as you use the frosting to prevent it from drying out.