Gingerbread House

Gingerbread houses make charming Christmas decorations.  The baking, assembly, and decorating take time so make sure you aren't rushed, get our your baking sheets, and enjoy making this classic Christmas craft. 

You will need:

1.  Sugar cookie or gingerbread dough

2.  Royal frosting

3.  Assorted candies

4.  A plate or cardboard for a base

5.  The house pattern

A gingerbread house
Cookie cough cut into squares and placed on a cookie sheet

1.  Roll out the cookie dough to about 1/4 of an inch thick.  Cut out the following:

  • 2 four inch squares (the sides)
  • 2 five inch square (the front and back)
  • 2 rectangles, 4 1/2 x 4 inches (the roof)
  • 1 extra 5 inch square. 

You don't have to make the extra square, but you will be glad you did if you accidentally break one of your other pieces.

Don't worry about making these shapes too precise.  Cookie dough always spreads slightly when you bake it, so you will cut the exact shapes after the dough is baked.

Bake the cookie dough according to the directions in the recipe and let it cool.

A base for the gingerbread house 2.  If you are making a cardboard base, wrap a rectangle of sturdy cardboard with a layer or white paper and then a layer of wax paper.
The front of the house is cut from the dough 3.  Cut out the exact shapes.  Lay the pattern over the squares and gently cut out the shapes with a sharp knife.
A partially assembled gingerbread house 3.  Put your frosting into a decorator's tube.  Put a line of frosting on the bottom of the front piece, the side of the front piece, and the bottom of a side piece.  Stand the front and side pieces up in place, and hold them for a few seconds.  The frosting should hold them in place when you let go.
The sides of the gingerbread house assembled 4.  Put frosting on the side and bottom of the back and put the back in place.  Then put frosting on both sides and the bottom of the last side piece and put it in place.
The roof is added to the gingerbread house 5.  Put frosting all the way around the upper edge, and then put the roof pieces on.  Put a line of frosting down the middle seam of the roof.  If you wish, let the house sit for 15-30 minutes so that the frosting will dry.  You can decorate the house while the frosting is still moist, just don't push too hard!
Candies are added to the gingerbread house 6.  Decorate!  There is no right or wrong way to decorate a gingerbread house.  Use the frosting to attach the candies and enjoy creating a charming little house.

Gingerbread has been made and enjoyed for centuries.  The first gingerbread houses were probably made in Germany.  You may remember the German fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel.  The evil witch lived in an alluring house made of gingerbread.   Snacking on that house was dangerous!  Making gingerbread houses is quite popular, and enthusiasts build elaborate castles and even entire villages out of gingerbread.


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