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Our Family Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread House with Sugar Wreaths

This gingerbread dough has been designed for gingerbread houses, so the baked pieces are crisp and sturdy.  

Scale

Ingredients

  • 6 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegan margarine

Instructions

  •  In a saucepan, combine light corn syrup, brown sugar, and margarine. Stir constantly over medium heat until everything has melted together.
  • In a kitchen aid mixing bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.  
  • Add the syrup mixture into the flour mixture, and stir to combine. This step is easiest with a kitchen aid stand mixer but can certainly be done by hand. Make sure the syrup is warm when you add it to the flour mixture, this will make it easier to knead into a dough. Once it comes together into a nice dough, you are ready to make the gingerbread house. If the dough is too soft, you can chill it in the fridge for a few minutes, but most of the time, we have not found this necessary.  
  • Print the template pattern.  It is easier to cut around if you print on card stock.  You should have 3 pieces:  side wall, front/back wall, and roof.  When cutting the dough, cut 2 side walls, two front/back pieces, and 2 roof pieces.  The pattern can stick to the dough, so sprinkle the dough with some flour.  Cut around the pattern, being careful not to cut the silicon or paper underneath.  
  • Cut into the desired shape, 1/4 inch thick. If you want cut-out windows, do this before baking. You can also draw the windows with icing afterward, especially if you do not plan on putting lights in the house. To maintain the integrity of the shape of each gingerbread piece, do not move the pieces once they have been cut. In other words, use silicone mats or parchment paper underneath so that you can easily slide them onto baking trays. 
  • Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes. Bake smaller pieces separately as baking times will vary. Air bubbles may occur during baking but can easily be corrected by gently pressing down with a spatula. This correction can be done as soon as the piece comes out of the oven before it cools.
  • Let cool completely before icing. 

Royal Icing Recipe:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegan meringue powder 
  • 6 tablespoon water 

In a non-plastic stand mixing bowl, add powdered sugar, meringue powder, and water.  Beat at medium speed for 5 minutes, until icing is glossy and holds peaks. The icing dries very quickly; cover icing with a damp towel if not used right away.    

We used disposable piping bags with two different tips for decorating our houses this year; a small round tip for detail and a small star tip for everything else.  We used plant-based food coloring for the wreaths, candles, and house color. 

Assembling the Gingerbread House:

  • Assemble the house by using icing as glue.  
  • It is useful to have a cake board or thick cardboard for the base of the gingerbread house. If you decide to add lights to the house, cut out space for a small light bulb to come through the base cardboard before assembling the walls. We use a small round night light bulb (4-7 watts). 
  • Start with the sidewall and a front piece. Squeeze a line of icing on each surface edge that you want to attach. Next, add the other sidewall and the back piece. You want to do this before the first two hardens, as you may have to adjust them to fit together.  
  • Once you have all four walls up, let it sit to harden for a good hour before attempting to put on the roof. You will need to hold the roof in place for a few minutes before it will sit on its own. Do one side at a time.
  • Finish the house with a dusting of powdered sugar.

 

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