-by Mary May Larmoyeux– Have you ever wondered how to make a gingerbread house? For more than three decades, our family has enjoyed putting gingerbread houses together before Christmas. And soon I’ll be making the tasty walls and roofs that will turn into our grandkids’ special holiday creations.
Making a gingerbread house is a lot of fun and creates some wonderful memories! Here’s my recipe, adapted from one printed years ago in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. It will make two small gingerbread houses and some gingerbread men (use cookie cutters for them).
Basic Corn Syrup Gingerbread Dough
9 cups unsifted flour
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar firmly packed
1 1/4 cups butter (can substitute margarine that’s suitable for baking)
Combine flour, lemon rind, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a large bowl. Stir together corn syrup, brown sugar and butter in a 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter is melted and ingredients are well mixed. Pour liquid mixture into flour mixture and stir until blended.
Form dough into a ball and knead until smooth and pliable. Roll out dough and cut into 1/4″ thickness, using a lightly floured rolling pin. Cut out desired shapes for houses and gingerbread men.
roof—5 1/4″ x 3 1/2″
side—4 1/4″ x 3 1/2″
peaked side — 2 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ with triangle on top. The peak of the triangle is 4 1/2″ from the base of the rectangle it sits on.
You can make the houses as large or small as you like by changing the dimensions. Use cookie cutters to make gingerbread men, Christmas trees, stars, etc.
Put shapes on cookies sheets that have been covered with parchment paper that is oven safe and non-stick . Bake at 350 degrees until shapes are firm and lightly browned — about 12 minutes.
Cool shapes completely on racks before assembling.
3 egg whites (if possible, at room temperature)
1 pound box confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
Place the above ingredients in a large bowl and beat at medium or high speed until stiff (approximately 5 minutes).
Cover with damp cloth. Makes about 2 cups.
Use Snow Frosting to put the houses together, then attach decorations and make icicles. After building the houses, allow the frosting to dry at least one hour before decorating. I allow the houses to dry overnight.
What are some of the things that your family has done to make Christmas memories? Have you decorated or made gingerbread houses?
© 2008, 2017 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Searching for a great gift for grandparents? Check out The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart. It’s written by a USA Teacher of the Year, Nancy Downing, and Mary Larmoyeux, a writer for FamilyLife. Paper and electronic versions are available. (Great for parents, aunts and uncles, too!)