Making homemade gingerbread houses lathered with frosting and an excessive amount of candy has been a family tradition for years. It turned out to be one of those really easy recipe conversions - and I find I don't even need to bother chilling the dough to press it out in a buttered cookie sheet. It is easier to work with if I chill the dough first, but I'm generally looking for ways to cut corners. Either way you do it, this cooks up wonderfully tasty and nice and firm. Perfect for making sturdy gingerbread houses that can hold a great quantity of candy. There's always little extra bits that we snack on. You can even chill, roll and cut for shaped gingerbread cookies. Just cook for less time. Have fun and enjoy!
The instructions here make mini gingerbread houses, but you can easily scale up the measurements and make one big house instead. We love making little houses since it means everyone gets to decorate their own gingerbread house.
Gingerbread House Recipe & Frosting (another family recipe)
Makes 3-4 small houses
Butter a cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 300F/130C.
Mix the following thoroughly and chill for several hours (chilling dough is optional! I find if I work quickly I can just press it in the pan and cook right away, which saves me time - but it is easier to work with if you chill it first):
2 ¾ cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix – OR 1 ½ cup brown rice flour, ½ cup corn starch, ½ cup tapioca starch, ¼ cup potato starch + 1 tsp xanthan gum – OR your favorite GF flour mix (provided it contains some xanthan gum)
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup molasses
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup oil
Heat oven to 300F/130C
Press out dough on greased cookie sheet (no thicker than ½ inch) and bake for 25-30 minutes. (You can use buttered hands to help press down if you find it sticky)
After removing the pan from the oven, place house patterns on hot gingerbread and cut immediately! (House pattern below)
Carefully lift out pieces and cool on cake rack. The gingerbread will be very hard when cool (if not, the pieces can be put back on the cookie sheet and baked another 5-10 minutes). Note: the roof sections can break off if the dough is not thoroughly baked.
House pattern: make out of card stock or cardboard (I just cut apart a cereal box)
Roof: 3 x 2 ½ inches (cut 2)
Front: 3 x 2 ½ inches (cut roofline and door)
Back: same as front but without door
Sides: 2 x 2 ½ inches (cut 2)
Beat the following in a grease-free bowl until stiff: (If needed, add a bit more confectioner’s sugar (very slowly) until desired thickness)
3 egg whites (make sure NO yolk is in whites)
1 lb. confectioner’s sugar
½ tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
Keep bowl covered at all times with damp cloth because this icing dries fast and becomes hard (the better to hold houses covered in candy together!) You can pipe this frosting on, or you can just use a knife to apply (which we tend to do since we're working with little kids). Enjoy!
Candy ready for decorating!
Eating is the best part.
We love making tiny houses so everyone gets to decorate their own mini gingerbread house!