Recipes
& Tips

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe for making Gingerbread
Houses
Janice Mineer

Beat together:
1 cup shortening
1 cup margarine

Add:
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¾ teaspoon baking powder

Beat in:
1 cup molasses
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
3 eggs

Then beat in:
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
8 ¼ cups flour

Chill dough 3 hours.

Bake 10 to 12 min. on ungreased baking sheet, 375 degrees F.
Important note:

Due to cautions about eating raw eggs, a safe
alternative is to use meringue powder for making royal
icing instead of fresh egg whites. Meringue powder
icing maintains its consistency well. You can find
meringue powder at craft stores or powdered egg
whites in the baking isle of your grocery store.

Use the recipe below:
Royal Icing

3 tablespoons meringue powder
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar
6 tablespoons water (approximately)

Combine all ingredients and beat for several minutes. Icing should
be fluffy and hold its shape, not runny and not too dry. If it's too
dry, add additional water a few drops at a time until you get the
right consistency. It should be easy to squeeze out of an icing
bag. The icing hardens quickly, so after mixing, cover bowl with a
damp towel to keep the icing soft. Refrigerate unused portions.
Note: If you are using dehydrated egg whites from the grocery
store instead of meringue powder, add 1/4 teaspoon cream of
tartar to the recipe.
Tips & Ideas!
Always use royal frosting instead of soft cake frosting. Because of  the
dehydrated egg whites in meringue powder, this frosting dries hard as
cement!
Make gingerbread house in stages to make things easier (especially if
working with children): Make dough ahead and freeze, bake pieces
several days before assembly, have base and any other assembly
materials ready a day in advance.
When working with small children (or groups of people), assemble the
house a couple days in advance and just let kids put candy on the
house and yard.
Make extra cookie pieces for people to eat! That way you won't lose a
door or roof!
Use a firm base to put the house on. A flexible base will make the
house pop off!
Use soup cans to hold the walls up while you use frosting to glue them
together.
A gingerbread recipe with eggs is usually the easiest to work with. It is
more like clay.
Let your cookie pieces dry and harden for a few hours or even a day or
two before assembly.
Decorate walls as much as possible before assembling house. It is
easier to work on a flat surface.

Click here for a gingerbread house
pattern that you can use as is, or enlarge
at a copy center. Don't forget to create a
pattern for a small chimney if you want
one!
(See important
note about egg
whites below)