This year we made our gingerbread house from scratch. We enjoyed finding a template to printout and then we cut out the dough and baked it on sheet pans. We had lots of dough, so we made all sorts of things to compliment the house. We had trees, a walkway, gingerbread men, and more. We made the dough and baked it the day before decorating so that it could harden overnight. We used this recipe from allrecipes and it turned out terrific.
We also made the recipe for the icing that they suggest and it was wonderful as well. It set up pretty quickly and hardened well. I separated the icing into four different bags with different tips so that we could each have one and I wouldn't have to switch out the tips. I used the bag with the large tip to pipe frosting on the walls and roof. The kids used the smaller tips for decorating their individual pieces. Watch this video on how to prep icing bags for easy cleanup...I tried it and it was easy and such a snap to cleanup.
We used lots of different candies and then we finished it off with flaked coconut as snow. We also put a little candle inside and lit it which was a perfect finishing touch.
Gingerbread House Recipe
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1-1/3 cups molasses
8 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 pounds confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 egg whites
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the molasses and eggs. Combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, baking soda, salt, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger; beat into the molasses mixture. Gradually stir in the remaining flour by hand to form a stiff dough. Divide dough into 2 pieces.
3. On a large piece of parchment paper, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Remove extra dough, transfer entire piece of parchment paper to sheet pan and bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
In a medium bowl, sift together confectioners' sugar and cream of tartar. Blend in egg whites. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat for about 5 minutes, or until mixture is thick and stiff. Keep covered with a moist cloth and plastic wrap until ready to decorate.
Use this template for your gingerbread house.