You could go out during the holidays to purchase one of those gingerbread house kits. Nothing beats fresh gingerbread, however, and making it from scratch is not that difficult. Knowing how to make a great gingerbread house from scratch is a wonderful holiday tradition that you can try this year with these simple steps.
Make Your Gingerbread
This basic recipe will create a flavorful gingerbread that can withstand the building process. Here is what you’ll need.
- 6 cups of A-P flour
- ½-teaspoon baking powder
- 5 teaspoons ground ginger
- 5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½-teapsoon allspice
- ¼-teaspoon nutmeg
- ½-teaspoon salt
- 12-tablepoons softened butter
- 1.5 cups of packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup of dark molasses
- 1-tablespoon of water
Whisk together all of your dry ingredients, then set them aside.
Beat the butter and brown sugar together until your mixture has peaks which stand on its own. Then add the molasses, eggs, and water until fully mixed.
Now take half of your dry ingredients and mix them into the liquid ingredients until they are blended well. Then mix in the remaining ingredients. You may need a dough hook at this stage or you’ll be kneading the dough by hand.
Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate overnight. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before using it.
Pre-heat your oven to 350. Roll out the dough until it is ¼-inch thick. You may need to add a little A-P flour if the dough is sticky. Then cut-out your shapes for house construction.
Large pieces need about 12 minutes to cook, while smaller ones may be done in 7 minutes. Check for even browning. Once cooked, allow the sheets to cool for about 15 minutes. Trim any pieces while they are still warm to make sure they’ll fit together properly.
Make Your Icing
Creating the icing is just as important for gingerbread house construction. You’ll need 2 large egg whites and 3 cups of powdered sugar. Whisk the egg whites and half of the sugar mixture until you get a smooth result.
If you don’t like the idea of eating raw eggs, place this mixture into your microwave for about 30 seconds. You can also use pasteurized egg whites, if you prefer.
Then add the remaining powdered sugar. Mix at a high speed until you get very stiff peaks. You can add more sugar if you’re not getting those peaks.
Fill your pastry bag with the frosting when you’re ready to begin decorating. This will be the mortar that keeps your house together. It will also provide a foundation for the decorations that you’ll be adding to the gingerbread house.
If you don’t have a pastry bag, just use a resealable quart-size plastic bag, then cut out one small corner of it.
You can also find metal piping tips at most grocery stores if you wish to create fun patterns with your frosting.
Then just purchase your favorite candy and you’re ready to decorate. That is all it takes to make your own gingerbread house from scratch this year.