Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gingerbread Shacks

Ever the glutton-for-punishment kind of gal, I volunteered to make gingerbread houses for S.E.'s preschool class party. My first thought when I read about the need for volunteers was how amazing the teachers have been about all the arts and craft projects they've been doing with the kids and felt like I could help. Well...17 gingerbread houses later, we are set for a great Christmas party at school.

I grew NEVER making gingerbread houses...the only times I've attempted to make gingerbread houses in the past has been with graham crackers. The graham cracker houses would fall apart within two days due to the weight of the candies and icing piled on top of it.

But I did with a lot of help from my husband, friends, and the internet. All the baking and construction was done in two days. My husband took care of the children so I could get the baking done and my friends P and C scaled down a larger model of a gingerbread house design we found on the internet. This way, I was able to make six houses out of one batch of dough instead of two...yeah!!!! When it came to assembling the actual house, C came over to help build a cardboard version of the house so I could attach house pieces together without collapsing. When I was done putting the houses together, I declared my kitchen countertops a subdivision of gingerbread shacks. The houses were structurally sound but they were really ugly to be frank. It made me feel better that there was going to be a ton of icing and candy to cover the unattractivenss of these houses.

Here are the dimensions if you want to make them.

Gingerbread dough recipe (from

1 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/4 cup light or dark molasses

5 1/2 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 TBSP ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix 5 cups of flour, the ginger and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.
Cream shortening and sugar in large bowl with mixer. Add molasses and lightly beaten eggs. Blend well. Gradually add dry ingredients. Knead in remaining flour, if necessary. Chill dough 1 hour for best rolling results.
Lightly grease cookie sheets. Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thick directly onto cookie sheets. Cut patterns, removing excess dough. Chill 10 minutes before baking. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes. Trim pieces with cut out.

Cement Icing(

3 TBSP powder meringue powder
1 lb (3 3/4 cup) powdered sugar
4-6 TBSP water
Mix togther until thick. It should be thicker than store bought icing.

Gingerbread Disign( P.B. designed)

Front and Back: 2.5 x 3.0 x 4.0 inches

Roof: 2.5 x 4.25 inches

Sides: 2.5 x 3.5 inches

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