Monday, December 12, 2011


As a family, we enjoy making gingerbread houses.  I thought I would share my recipe.  It takes longer that sticking graham crackers together, but it's cuter, and you can make your own shapes.

5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
3 tsp powdered ginger
1 cup solid white vegetable shortening (such as Crisco)
1 cup unsulphured molasses (such as Grandma's)

Melt shortening in saucepan.  Add sugar and molasses and mix well.  Make sure the sugar is fully dissolved.  Sift all the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and ginger together in a mixing bowl.  Add shortening 
mixture to dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Add a little water if mixture is too dry.  After it's thoroughly mixed, divide the dough into two equal parts and shape each part into a ball.  Put each ball onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Roll each dough ball out to 1/4" thickness and cut each house piece with form, removing excess dough.  (A damp towel under the cookie sheet will keep it from sliding while you are rolling out the dough).
Bake on these cookie sheets in preheated 375 F oven for 15 minutes or until lightly brown.  Let stand on cookie sheets until completely cooled.

Just a few candies, purchased in bulk, and royal icing will make everyone happy!

Royal Icing
1lb powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
3 Tablespoons meringue powder
6 Tablespoons water

Place all ingredients in mixer bowl.  Mix on low for 10 minutes, until icing has lost its sheen.  You can also make royal icing using egg whites, but the experts say that you shouldn't eat it because of the raw eggs.

For the houses this year, I cut out 6 squares: 2 3"x3", 2 2.5"x3", and 2 3.5"x3".  Have fun!

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