Decorated Gingerbread House

My friend's finished house
I still enjoy making and decorating gingerbread houses at Christmas. The first step is to make a template for the house you want to make. This is your chance to be design the house of your dreams!! My advice is to keep it simple though.

The gingerbread recipe below is very crispy and does not become soft easily. Good for making houses, not so good for making cookies.

Secondly, you need icing which is not too wet so that it dries relatively quick and the house can stay together.

Recipe makes 1 medium size house:
Vegetable shortening 70 grams
Sugar 85 grams
Baking powder 2 grams
Salt 3 grams      
Molasses (light or dark) 125 grams
Ground ginger 1 gram
Cinnamon 1 gram
Flour 325 grams
Water 25 grams

1. Mix the first seven ingredients in a bowl until well blended.  Add the flour and water next. Continue to mix until dough forms.
Cut the dough in shape of the template
2. Roll the dough directly onto the cooking sheet and cut out patterns using the gingerbread house template.
3. Cut the gingerbread with a sharp knife working from the inside out.  This means, if there are windows, etc. cut them first.  Then cut the sides.  Bake at 180 Celsius for about 15 minutes. Check for hardness. If soft, bake again for several minutes.

The house is ready to be baked


Powdered sugar 2 cups
Wilton meringue powder or egg white powder 2 tablespoons
Warm water 4 –6 tablespoons

1. Combine powdered sugar and meringue powder. Add the water and beat until it becomes fluffy. Icing should be able to hold its shape when piped.
2. Put the icing in a pastry bag for decoration. Keep the extra icing in a bowl covered with a damp towel since the icing will become hard quickly. 
Putting Together:
Start with the back of the house
1. Prepare a piece of cardboard covered with foil for the base. Make a line with the icing on the foil where the house will be put. Start with the back of the house and continue with the sides.
2. Place the back of the house along the back icing line. Then place one of the sides next to the back of the house and put a line of icing along the side to hold the two pieces together. Repeat the same process for the other side.
3. Pipe a line along the front of the house and place the house piece on it.

Pipe icing to attach roof

4. The next step is the roof. Pipe icing along the edges of the roof and place the house pieces on top of it. Be sure to center them correctly.

5. After putting the roof on, pipe icing along the top edge to help keep it together.

House is ready

Decorate as you like
 Note: if you want to make curtains for the house, be sure to attach the cloth inside the house with icing before you start step #1.
Merry Christmas

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