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.
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.
Gingerbread House Dough
2-3 dozen cookies, or one gingerbread house and accouterments
3½ cups all-purpose
1 cup (2
sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
(packed) dark brown sugar
molasses – not black strap, and preferably “golden”, “mild” or “sorghum” molasses
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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!
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.