5 Cups of flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cloves
Mix together in a bowl and set aside
1 Cup shortening
1 Cup sugar
Cream together and add
1 1/4 Cups Molasses
2 beaten eggs
add the flour mixture 1 cup at a time. I let my dough refrigerate before I rolled it out.
Make a pattern as to how you want your house to look. I made a paper pattern and taped it together to see how it looked before I cut them out on the dough.
Spray your pans with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350.
Roll out your dough (I also rolled a bit thicker) and cut out your pattern. I used any left over dough and cut them out into abstract tree shapes. I baked the pieces till slightly brown on edges and a bit harder, so I guess I over baked them. I wanted to make sure they would be sturdy enough.
Once baked, leave them out on the counter for at least 1 day. This will help the pieces to harden.
Make some royal icing, I used the recipe in the meringue powder.
Then the rest is all fun. You can choose to decorate your gingerbread house will all kinds of items. Justine made one too, she decided to keep hers just the gingerbread and pipe on the frosting to look like bricks. I used chex cereal to look like a thatched roof and pretzels to look like logs.
A tip to help your gingerbread house pieces stand up, is to pipe a line of frosting on the tray you want your house on. Let each piece set a bit first before adding the next one. Pipe a line of frosting between the joints, I used my finger to spread it between the corners to push it in all the cracks.
I ran a little string of tiny battery operated lights. I hid the control box behind the gum drop tree.
I really enjoyed making this little gingerbread house. I have to say, I have some pretty talented 4-H girls all from the same family that are experts at this - in fact, they usually win the merit ribbon for cake decorating. When I went to the cake review this past year, I knew I wanted to make one for Christmas. Thanks for the inspiration, Schmoll girls. I already know what I want to make next year.
Justine and I missed Anna not being here to make these with us. Next year I want to make sure to have the houses ready for decorating when Anna is home for Thanksgiving so we all can do them together - start a new tradition for us.
Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.