Build it and they will come – just like Iowa farmer Ray(Kevin Costner) hears a mysterious voice in the cornfield saying “If you build it, he will come” in the movie, Field of Dreams. Build it(the gingerbread houses) and he(friends & family) will come to decorate and celebrate!
Weeks before the holiday party, be sure to start baking the gingerbread houses. The gingerbread dough is easy to make and they are easy to build. However, they take a little bit of time. No need to worry if the gingerbread houses will keep. They will keep for weeks, even a couple of months.
If baking the gingerbread houses seems too ambitious, buying gingerbread house kits is a great option. Either way, be sure to bake some gingerbread chimneys. When it’s time to decorate the gingerbread houses, top off the chimneys with cotton candy for the ‘smoke!’
National Gingerbread House Day is on December 12th. Build it and they will come!
Gingerbread for Houses
This is a great recipe for gingerbread houses and gingerbread boys. It's easy to work with, never crumbles and the cookies turn out perfect each time!
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup molasses
- 2 large eggs
- 1 T. ground cinnamon
- 2 t. ginger
- 2 t. cloves
- 2 t. baking powder
- 1 t. nutmeg
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1 t. salt
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add all of the ingredients.
Beat the ingredients until well mixed.
Divide the dough in half. Flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in wax paper. Chill for 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350º.
On a lightly floured Silpat® baking mat, roll out half of the dough tp 1/4" thickness. With the gingerbread house cookie cutters, cut out each section - 2 roofs, 2 sides, front, back and chimney pieces. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Slide the Silpatº baking mat with the cut out house pieces directly onto a flat cookie sheet.
Bake for 20 - 24 minutes until firm but not too browned.
Place the cookie sheet on a wire rack for cooling. Immediately, recut with the house pieces with the cookie cutters. This provides very straight edges!
After the house pieces set a bit, 4-5 minutes, remove from cookie sheet and place directly on the wire racks to cool completely.