Just a note: I am by no means a gingerbread house expert. This was my first time making one and I wanted to show you how easy it is to make one.
1/2 C. shortening
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. dark molasses
1/4 C. water
2 1/2 C. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. ginger
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. allspice
Cream shortening and sugar. Blend in molasses and water, flour, salt, soda and spices. Chill for 2-3 hours. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll dough out 1/4" think directly on a greased and floured cookie sheet. It works best to roll out the dough if your cookie sheet doesn't have sides. If all you have is cookie sheets with sides you could flip it upside down and use the bottom.
Place patterns on the dough and cut out with a knife.
Remove excess dough. Bake for 12 minutes. Repeat the step above until you have all the parts you need for your gingerbread house.
Allow gingerbread to cool and dry for at least 2 hours before constructing your house.
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp. creme of tarter
1 lb powdered sugar
Beat egg whites and creme of tarter until stiff peaks appear. Add powdered sugar and whip well.
*I made 3 batches of icing for 1 gingerbread house.
Find a piece of cardboard to construct your gingerbread house on. These get very heavy by the end so you want to make sure you have a sturdy piece. Start by joining 2 walls together. I put a strip of icing on the cardboard and on the corner of the house where the 2 walls met. You may have to hold it in place for a little bit until it sets up.
Just continue adding a wall at a time. Be liberal on the icing. You want it to stick together well!
Here's a picture of the inside of the house. Once I had all 4 walls together I added extra icing to the 4 corners.
Half of the roof on.
Once your entire house is together you NEED TO LET IT DRY!!!! I would recommend letting it dry for 18-24 hours. I didn't let mine dry longer than 1/2 hour because J kept begging to decorate it. I finally thought what can it matter? It can just dry once all the candy's on. Well that was a big mistake! My roof started getting soft with all the icing on it and it wanted to slide off. I finally took half of the roof off and let it lay until the next day. By the next day it was good and dry so I glued it back on with icing.
You can really use any kind of candy you want. I didn't have a big selection of candy because I wasn't in the mood to spend lots of money on candy. I would probably recommend getting together with several other families to decorate your house so you have a bigger variety of candy. I put the candy into containers so it be easier to grab.
J hard at work.
Licking his lips and wondering when he can stuff another piece of candy in his mouth without his mom noticing.
The finished product. It actually turned out halfway decent considering the fact that the roof wanted to slide down when we were halfway through decorating it. If your wondering, J didn't last longer than 10 minutes decorating it. Then all he wanted to do was eat candy. :)
This was actually very simple to make. It appears like it would be hard to do but it's easier than what it appears. This was my first time making one and if I can do it you can do it. Your children will love it! It makes great memories for them!
Here's the dimensions of the pattern I used:
Roof: 9" W x 6" H
Side Walls: 6"W x 5"H
End Walls: 6"W x 5" H - 9" H (it starts to taper to a V at 5" H and then the peak meets at 9" H)
Credit goes to Renee for the recipe and the pattern!