This year the gingerbread house in the White House, Washington DC weighs 400 lbs. In 2002 it only weighed 80 pounds. See this year’s 400 pound gingerbread house at the White House, Gallery: Seriously impressive gingerbread houses. What kind of gingerbread house would you like to make? See, Mallory Staley’s Gingerbread Mansion by the Numbers – Best Bites. Also check out, the book, Amazon.com: No Bake Gingerbread Houses for Kids.
With edible, unlacquered gingerbread houses, the high amount of sugar in the gingerbread house may preserve it for months in some cases, depending upon the humidity. Don’t eat a gingerbread house cake that has gone moldy, of course.
Try some of the simple no-bake gingerbread house recipes online such as, Easy no-bake gingerbread houses & icing recipe | Home Goes Strong. Also see, No Bake Gingerbread House Recipes | Yummly.
How long will a baked gingerbread house last? (Until it falls apart or is invaded by bugs). You could preserve it under plastic or under various lacquers, like a painting. Once it’s lacquered, nobody eats it. It becomes a sculpture. You could also make gingerbread cookies that resemble the house and serve the smaller cookies to your guests.
Here’s how to bake and assemble a gingerbread for your winter holiday craft projects. First print out a gingerbread template so you have a design that’s even on the sides. See the site, gingerbread house template. Or see, Gingerbread House Recipe for Christmas: Instructions and Template.
If you want to see colorful gingerbread houses, try this site, Gingerbread House to inspire your imagination. Here’s one recipe. Lots more information is at the site, Gingerbread Houses Article – Allrecipes.com. This site tells you what you’ll need ahead of time as to pots and pans, supplies, and how long in advance before the holidays you need to begin.
As you can see in the recipe the ingredients are high on butter, brown sugar, molasses, flour, egg whites, and spices. However, you need to know whether you’re going to eat the gingerbread or put in on display for people to look at during the holiday season.
You’ll need a template, but think of variations on the template for a gingerbread house. It doesn’t have to look like the usual two-story private home that people come home to for the holidays. It can be a house of worship that varies from an Asian pagoda to a Hanukkah temple. You choose a template for a building that you’ll create out of flour, sugar, molasses, and butter.
If you plan to eat the gingerbread, you can use another shortening instead of butter such as coconut oil that hardens at room temperature below 76 degrees F. Some people can’t eat dairy, so coconut oil is a variation. And you could substitute some other sweetener for the sugar, such as stevia. But basically for display, the sugar keeps the gingerbread from needing refrigeration each night.
You also might see if a smaller scale model of the gingerbread holds together if you substitute honey for the brown sugar. The eggs, flour, molasses, and brown sugar recipe is standard for the type of gingerbread houses you see on display.
It is edible, but tends to harden to the tooth. Whatever you choose, think beforehand whether your gingerbread house or other building will be eaten, will serve as a decoration, or be on display and donated. Check out the uTube video on how to build an all-purpose gingerbread house.
Variety of Gingerbread Houses Recipes of Many Faiths
Want to build a gingerbread mosque? Check out the site, Bid in Zaib Shaikh’s Little Gingerbread Mosque charity – CBC.ca. Zaib Shaikh (aka Amaar Rashid) made a magnificent Little Gingerbread Mosque, according to the CBC news site. If you want to make a gingerbread mosque, you can make a template displaying one minaret and one domed building. With Sacramento’s diversity, you’ll find a medley of various houses and houses of worship made from gingerbread cake recipes.
Want to build a gingerbread Jewish synagogue? See, one built, at the site, Jewish Gingering. Want to build a Buddhist pagoda gingerbread? See the recipe for building one at This Christmas: a gingerbread pagoda – chef-a-go go – Recipes. See the recipe and excellent photos of the multi-story gingerbread Buddhist pagoda at the chef-a-go-go site.. The actual recipe is at this site, with instructions on how to make your own gingerbread here and a pattern for a basic gingerbread house here.
The template is at this site, Gingerbread House Pattern to cut out your basic Buddhist gingerbread pagoda. Look at the photos at the site also, This Christmas: a gingerbread pagoda – chef-a-go go – Recipes. It’s complete with upturned roof and dragon-style decor.
Want to individualize? Then photograph your house and build a gingerbread replica of where you live here in Sacramento. You don’t have to make a gingerbread house with religious connotations. The salutation of a gingerbread house is to celebrate all winter holidays with being in a home or environment that makes you feel warm, cozy, and safe.
Check out this recipe noted at that site: Note that this recipe doesn’t specify whether to use brown or white sugar. The emphasis is on the spices, such as ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. If you want a Middle Eastern ambiance to your gingerbread mosque or other type of house of worship, mix rose water extract with your spices.
Orange blossom water and rose water extracts are used to flavor cakes and cookies in the Middle East, for example, the Levant. You can buy orange blossom or rose petal water extract at most Mediterranean markets. In Sacramento, try, Mediterranean Market – Arden-Arcade – Sacramento, CA. Cortas is a popular brand for flower petal extract waters. Ginger goes great with orange, lemon, and pomegranate flavors. Rose petal extract water goes great with cinnamon and cloves. See, Rose water, Cortas.
Gingerbread Basic Recipe, according to the site, Gingerbread Houses Article – Allrecipes.com.
Makes: 1 house
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
Using cardboard or waxed paper, cut 1 pattern for each piece shown on page 19. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking soda, and salt; mix well and set aside. In another large bowl, beat the shortening and sugar until creamy.
Add the molasses and eggs; beat until well combined. Slowly stir in the flour mixture until a smooth dough forms. Divide the dough into three balls. Place one ball of dough on the back of a cookie sheet.
Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 1/8-inch thickness. Using the patterns, use a sharp knife to cut out two front/back pieces; remove any excess dough from around the pieces. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Allow to cool slightly, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Meanwhile, repeat with another dough ball, cutting and baking two side pieces. Repeat with the third dough ball, cutting and baking two roof pieces. Form the scraps into a ball, roll out, and cut and bake one base piece.
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 egg whites or equivalent in egg white powder (If raw egg whites are used in the icing, don’t eat this. It’ll be for fun and decoration only)
In a large bowl, beat the confectioners’ sugar and egg whites until smooth. Place in a pastry bag with a small tip (or place in a resealable plastic storage bag and cut a tiny piece off a bottom corner of the bag).
Put the House Together
Place the base flat side down in the center of a large platter or piece of foil-wrapped cardboard. Lay the sides and ends of the gingerbread house flat side down around the base. Pipe icing all around the edges of each piece. Carefully lift and press the edges of the back piece and one side together, sealing with the icing.
Lift the front piece and the remaining side and hold in place until the house is secure; let stand for a few minutes. Add additional icing to strengthen the joints. Place one roof piece in place. Pipe icing along the inside edge of that piece and place the second roof piece in place. Pipe icing along all the seams of the house for extra support and allow to dry.
Add frosted mini shredded wheat “shingles” to the roof and a graham cracker “chimney,” “windows,” and “doors,” securing them with icing. Pipe icing “icicles” all around the lower edges of the roof. Decorate the house and yard with any of the following, using the icing as the glue:
red-hot cinnamon candies
spearmint leaves (they make great trees.)
anything else you dream up.
This recipe below is a double batch of the Classic Gingerbread Cutouts recipe.
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1-1/3 cups molasses
8 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 egg whites
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the molasses and eggs. Combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, baking soda, salt, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger; beat into the molasses mixture. Gradually stir in the remaining flour by hand to form a stiff dough. Divide dough into 2 pieces.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Place pieces 1 inch apart onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
In a medium bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar and cream of tartar. Blend in egg whites. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat for about 5 minutes, or until mixture is thick and stiff. Keep covered with a moist cloth and plastic wrap until ready to decorate.
See, Gingerbread House and Icing Recipe.
More Gingerbread Recipes Online
Gingerbread House Recipe. How to Make a Gingerbread House.
Gingerbread House Recipe : : Food Network
How to Make a Gingerbread House | Simply Recipes
Children’s Gingerbread House Recipe – Allrecipes.com
Gingerbread Houses Article – Allrecipes.com
Gingerbread House Recipe at Epicurious.com
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