Gingerbread house

From: Shirley Spiller




Notes: Shirley makes 3 times the recipe for a house that is 10" by 5" for the roof, 9" by 4" for the side walls, and front about 5" wide at the bottom and turning into a triangle after 4" up. Usually has enough dough to make a few big pieces for a chimney as well as some regular cookies as well.

MDS: for the house we made in 11/2002, two times the amount below was enough for a house with two walls (3.5"x5"), two roof slabs (3.5"x6", which was too small btw), two end pieces (6" wide, 3.5" high on the sides, 5.5" high in the middle), a large round base, and a small chimney. 8 minutes really does mean 8 minutes, severe risk of burning after! Also, do NOT double the icing ingredients above; for this size house you really only need 2/3 of it (4 egg whites total, ...)

Heat molasses to the boiling point, add sugar, butter, and milk. Sift together and add flour and teaspoons of everything. Add just enough flour to make the dough rollable. Chill 1 hour or more.

Roll out the dough about inches thick, or a bit thicker, and cut two of each of the pieces (roof, front, side). From the remaining dough, make a base the size of a cookie sheet, and if you still have leftover dough, make trees, or gingerbread men, or chimneys, doors, etc.

Bake about 8 minutes at 375.

When the gingerbread cools it will be very hard. Don't soften it up, or the house won't stand. (Florida: freeze the pieces so they don't get soggy. Berkeley: seal in Tupperware to keep them hard)

Icing: Beat the egg whites until very foamy. Add in the sugar and continue beating. Add 6 drops of lemon juice. This will yield a thick icing which will still have a somewhat runny consistency.

"Glue" the front and sides of the house to the base, propping up the pieces until they stand without help. Cover the floor on the inside of the house with icing; decorate with M&Ms, cookies, anything you like, except wrapped candies that will have their wrapping stick to the icing when dry. When the floor is dry, place a bag of chocolate Santas, or festive cookies inside the house (this will become a surprise when the house is eaten), and proceed to glue on the roof. This can be a trial, because it will slide, but be patient. Keep pushing it back up and support it with cups or utensils until the roof is firmly glued and the glue is dry.

Now you are ready to really decorate! Gather festive M&Ms, Hershey kisses (ex the wrappers), nonpareils, cookies, etc, and enjoy the fun!

When done, let the house stand to "dry" for about a week. The smell will be heavenly, and the gingerbread will soak in the moisture from the icing, becoming soft enough to eat. If you worry about ants, wrap the house in plastic wrap.

2007 houses: 3X recipe, Big: Roof 4" x 6.5", Wall 5 x 3.5", end 6", 3.5" side, 5.5" middle, Small: Wall 2.5" H x 3" W, roof 2 1/8 x 3 7/8, end: 3" wide, 2.5 and 3 3/8 (middle) height