We had a play date for kids and I've planned Gingerbread house activity for them. Everybody had fun assembling their own houses and decorating them. I got a gingerbread mix from Michaels but I could make only three houses out of that mix. I had to bake a total of 7 houses and so again I made the cookies from scratch. I found this recipe in Joy of Baking but substituted molasses with honey and completely omitted nutmeg 'cause I didn't have it. When I mixed the dough I felt it is too liquidy to roll out immediately, so mixed a little flour and refrigerated for an hour. I made paper cuttings of walls and roof proportionately for a house and used those as stencils for the cookies. After I've finished with the houses, I made a few Snowmen and Gingerbread Men with the remaining dough.
What I used:
For the Gingerbread House:
All purpose flour : 3 cups (an extra 2 tbs if its too loose)
White granulated sugar : 1/2 cup
Butter : 1/2 cup
Honey : 2/3 cup
Egg : 1
Ground ginger : 2 tsp
Ground cinnamon : 1 tsp
Ground cloves : 1/4 tsp
Salt : 1/4 tsp
Baking soda : 3/4 tsp
For the Frosting:
Powdered sugar : 2 1/4 cups
Egg whites : 3 eggs
Cream of Tarter : 1 tsp
For the Decoration:
M & Ms
How I did:
- Sift together the flour, spices, salt and baking soda and keep it aside.
- Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy with an hand mixer or electric mixer.
- Add honey and egg and beat until blended.
- Add the flour mixture gradually and beat until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 deg F.
- Directly roll out the dough on the back of the cookies sheet, which makes it easier. Use a damp towel underneath the cookie sheet which holds the sheet in place while rolling. Lightly flour a cookie sheet from the bottom, unwrap the dough from the wrap, take a big ball sized dough and roll out on the floured cookie sheet to 1/8 inch thickness.
- Place the paper templates on the rolled dough and cut the shapes with a pizza cutter or you could even use a knife.
- Carefully remove all the extra dough from the cookie sheet. This can be used again.
- Put the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges turn to brown.
- Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest for about 10 minutes and then transfer to another surface to cool completely.
- Combine the powdered sugar, egg whites and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for about 4 to 5 minutes till stiff peaks form.
Use the frosting as the glue and assemble the house and decorate it.