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Gingerbread House Dough


Gingerbread houses: I would move into one if humanly possible.  Cookie walls, chocolate fondant roof, and a nonpareil walkway...  yep.  Those are all the amenities I'm looking for in life.

Tiny mistletoe  hangs above the entry.  
If you don't have a gingerbread recipe for building purposes - no worries. I've got you covered!  This dough slices easily with a knife, so it is ideal for cutting around templates.  It bakes up sturdy but not too hard, so you can also use the dough for cut-out cookies if that is your preference.


Need a good template?  I use and recommend this one from bbcgoodfood.com.  Just print out 3 copies and cut out each of the shapes.  It is just the right size for a single batch of dough with a little left over to roll out and cut into cookies.


I had planned to decorate this house with gumdrops and colorful candies, but obviously the muse led elsewhere.  I'm not sure where the Bavarian influence came from, but... I like it!  

The roof shingles and other "wood" ornamentation are pieces of chocolate fondant that were striated with a toothpick and adhered with dabs of corn syrup.  The trees are cupcake picks placed randomly around the house  in the powdered sugar "snow".


Below you'll find the "bricks and mortar" for your house.  The rest is up to you!


Gingerbread House Dough  
2-3 dozen cookies, or one gingerbread house and accouterments
                                                                                                                                  [click for printable version]
3½          cups all-purpose flour
2              teaspoons ground ginger
1½          teaspoons ground cinnamon
1              teaspoon baking soda
½             teaspoon salt
1              cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾             cup (packed) dark brown sugar
½             cup molasses - not black strap, and preferably "golden", "mild"  or "sorghum" molasses
1              large egg
½             teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Sift flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in another large bowl at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add brown sugar; beat 1 minute. Add molasses; beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low; beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend.
  2. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Form each half into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap disks separately in plastic; chill until firm, at least 4 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
  3. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper to  ¼-inch thickness. Use gingerbread house templates or decorative cookie cutters to cut-out shapes and transfer to prepared sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Gather scraps, roll out dough, and cut more shapes/cookies, repeating until all dough is used.  Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are firm on top and slightly darker around edges, about 8 minutes for smaller shapes and up to 15 minutes for larger shapes.
  4. Cool completely on rack. Line baking sheets with fresh parchment as needed. 
Note: Cookies will not spread much during baking, but for precise gingerbread house construction, cookies can be perfectly re-cut while still hot.  Place the paper templates on top of the hot cookies, and quickly cut with a plain-edge knife - but be careful not to burn yourself!  


Royal Icing
Yield: 2 1/2 -3 cups                                                                                              [click for printable version]

3-4 Tbsp meringue powder
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp lemon extract


1. Whisk together meringue powder and powdered sugar.  Pour mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment.  
2. Add warm water and mix on high speed for about 5-7 minutes or until stiff peaks are achieved.  Transfer to a piping bag and use to adhere gingerbread house pieces.


Notes:  Not all meringue powder is created equal.  Be sure to check the recipe on the container before you begin.   I usually use 3 Tbsp. meringue powder, but if you don't have a powerful stand mixer in which to whip the icing, you may use an additional tablespoon.  It will come together more quickly.







73 comments :

  1. I want to move in too! This is, by far, the cutest gingerbread house I ever did see! Love love love the shingles. And the hearts are just perfect!

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  2. I love it! Such a beautiful gingerbread house and I love the powdered sugar snowing on the house. You always put a great spin on things.

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  3. Wow!! I love it! If I could just repeat this phrase over and over I'd have to fill your comment box. I do have a "flare" for the dramatic. The Bavarian look is perfect...less bling...more charm. This is inspiration to tackle my yearly Bûche. Happy Holidays Heather.

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  4. Oh my...I just noticed the tiny mistletoe hanging over the door. Awww.

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  5. What an incredibly professional looking gingerbread house! I'm pretty sure mine would not look close to that if I made it from scratch.

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  6. you rock my world. have i told you that lately?

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  7. this is unbelievable beautiful <3

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  8. That is definitely the most adorable gingerbread house I've ever seen. Ever.

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  9. Can I lease the loft upstairs and we could be baking bestie roommates?? I promise to whip up dough and icing for any chewing damages I may cause. And Loki and Biscuit would be best buds! They can sleep in beds of marshmallow. :) Thoughts?

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  10. Oh my goodness, this is so precious! What patience you must have. :)

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  11. Wow, it is sooooo pretty! You are such a talented baker and cake/cookie decorator.

    Merry Christmas!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  14. Very very nice! I love this house! TY!

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  15. Aw, so cute!! You put so much detail in everything you make, I love it!

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  16. It's so cute!!!! I love your gingerbread house :D It'd be also my dream house.

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  17. Precious! I bet you'd have no trouble trying to re-sell that one.

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  18. So super cute. I want to live here too!

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  19. Absolutely beautiful and so festive! Love your work!

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  20. Wow beautiful!! I love the little heart :)

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  21. This is so freaking pretty! You amaze me.

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  22. I want to move right into this adorable perfect little gingerbread chalet! So evokative of the years I spent living in Munich. Thanks for the recipes. It was on my list to make one this year for the first time. Now you saved me tons of time next year hunting for good ones. Happy Holidays Heather! xoxoxo

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  23. Wow, gorgeous! You've really outdone yourself :)

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  24. Julie (pharmbelle85)December 21, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    You are amazing. Seriously. :) All your stuff is so incredible! I've never had the thought to live in a gingerbread house, but I would gladly live in yours :) Have a very Merry Christmas!

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  25. Oh this really makes me long for the US. In years gone by we used to go every Christmas time on business either to DC or San Francisco. In the lobbies of the hotels they always had a display of gingerbread houses. They Christmas atmosphere is always so good in the US big cities, I miss it so much!

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  26. That's way to cute! Can you come make a house with my kids? lol I'm scared I'll botch the building process.

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  27. Your house is simply beautiful. And your post makes me think of Hansel and Gretel in the witch's edible house - although much less terrifying of course. Gorgeous Christmassy post :-)

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  28. That is the most beautiful gingerbread house I have ever seen. I also saw a gingerbread brownstone earlier this week, that was spot-on.

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  29. Without question - one of the cutest gingerbread houses I've ever seen!

    Merry Christmas!

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  30. Wow it`s so beautiful..... congratulations!
    Merry Christmas!

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  31. It is so satisfying to see all the details and closeups of this sweet little Bavarian house. As usual you've delivered another masterful creation to spark our imaginations. And I love that you housed it in a tart pan for easy transport...you are just amazing! Merry Christmas Heather. xoxo ~Lili

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  32. :O
    I'm so impressed
    this house is totaly awesome
    I wanna eat it

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  33. Oh my goodness. This is gorgeous! It's so beautiful, and it looks just like a winter wonderland kind of house. Say, if I paied you enough, could you make a life-size house that I could live in? That would be really awesome. How long did it take for you to make this?

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  34. I made my very first gingerbread house recently- it looks like a hovel compared to this! I have never seen such a perfect little gingerbread cottage, how magical :D

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  35. Absolutely beautiful -- I love it! And it would have to remain a beautiful decoration in my house. I'd never be able to eat it!

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  36. What a perfect Gingerbread House! Truly incredible Heather :)

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  37. you have more talent in one thumb then I do in my whole body! Great job.

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  38. My kinda chalet!
    I'm packing my bags now! Can I move in tomorrow?

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  39. This has to be my favourite Chistmas post ever. I adore it! Its so Christmassy and I love the animation. Oh its perfect :D

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  40. Every year my mom makes these! This year, I took over. The recipe said to roll the dough directly on the cookie sheet, cut, and keep all in place to prevent "spreading". Total bummer, since I wasted a TON of dough this way. I'm glad to hear that your dough doesn't spread much, and I'll definitly have to give it a try next year! Thanks for posting this, your house looks just as perfect w/o candy as could be. Love it! If you want to check out my houses this year come over to my bloggy @ sarahcupcake.com and find it. :)

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  41. This is the most beautiful Gingerbread House I have ever seen! I would live there in a heartbeat! I have never actually made my own gingerbread before, I always just buy the kit. I am going to have to change that though :)

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  42. This is one of the most adorably crafted gingerbread houses I've seen! I love your last photo with the snow falling.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family and all the best for a wonderful year in 2012, both on-line and off-line :)

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  43. Oh Heather, I am in love with your house~ the "woodwork", the scalloped trim, the hearts, I Love it all! CHARMING! Merry Christmas my dear friend!

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  44. thanks, this is very beautiful home decor

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  45. this is seriously the best looking gingerbread house I've ever seen! The 'wooden' parts look so real :D Love the snow too :) Merry Christmas!

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  46. Beautiful! I love the Bavarian theme. With so many houses covered with colorful candies, it's great to see something different, and as always, Heather, you did a fantastic job!

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  47. No wonder you'd like to live in it! This is definitely one of the cutest gingerbread houses I've ever seen. Fabulous! Merry Christmas! :-)

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  48. this house is adorable. Me and my boys did houses. We just love this tradition.

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  49. This is the most beautiful/cute/artistic/perfect gingerbread house I haz ever seen.

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  50. Your blog is divine! I'm borrowing one of your recipes with a link back!!
    Nice to find you!
    xo
    Sharon

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  51. WOW!!! Love, love, love! Such a beautiful house! And where have I been?? (on vacation in Hawaii, that's where!) I just noticed your new header design - Just like the book! Love it! Maybe I'll have the courage to bake a gingerbread house next year. This year, I went the graham cracker route.

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  52. Merry christmas and happy 2012!

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  53. Oh total gingerbread fabulousness - I love the chocolate fondant door and the heart decorations.

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  54. So, so cute!! I love gingerbread houses!! Thanks for sharing !

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  55. This looks amazing! I wanna move in right this second!

    http://woodstockwardrobe.com/

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  56. You are so amazing! I feel so inspired whenever I visit your blog. This is the most livable gingerbread house I've ever seen hehe. I love all the details esp. the nailed up heart :) Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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  57. This is the most beautiful Gingerbread house I have ever seen. It reminded me of the house where Hansel and Gretal (fairy tales) used to live.
    You are an artist extraordinaire.
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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  58. Incredibly cute and exquisite Gingerbread house!! Happy New Year to you

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  59. Just gorgeous. I would like to move into that house it's so cute :)

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  60. This makes me wish I had made a gingerbread house this year!

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  61. GORGEOUS house, Heather! There's nothing else to say, I'm speechless, it is so adorable and beautiful!
    Best,
    Gloria

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  62. Such a gorgeous house! I hope you take roomies, this is my kind of house too!
    Happy New Year Heather!

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  63. Yummy! I'll have to try it this Christmas! :)

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  64. Hi there from a new follower! Your gingerbread house is so adorable I chose it as one of favorites! It is featured on my blog here: http://with-love-and-confection.blogspot.com/2012/11/some-of-my-favorite-gingerbread-houses.html.

    With Love & Confection,
    Veronica Arthur

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  65. hi Heather, your house looks beautiful and I would love to have a go at making it (it will be a slightly ramshackle version I expect). However, here in the UK we don't have golden or mild molasses. Could I substitute golden syrup?

    Thanks!

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  66. Hi Heather, Thank You so much for this post. You inspired me to make one this year
    http://growlingtummiesapproved.blogspot.com/2013/01/happy-new-yeargingerbread-house.html
    Wish You A Happy New Year..and I am loving your blog so much. Will surely try the Matcha Green Tea layered cake recipe...looks delish and gorgeous!! :)

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  67. Cookie walls, chocolate fondant roof, and a nonpareil walkway... yep. Those are all the amenities I'm looking for in life. cofinavit casas javer

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