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Gingerbread House Recipe
This recipe is for a hard cookie that is perfect for constructing gingerbread houses and ornaments. It contains no eggs or other ingredients that will spoil so it can be made ahead of time.
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 ½ cup Unsulfured molasses Dark or Light (12 oz. jar)
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 cups flour
- ¼ - ½ cups water
- 4 tsp. ginger
- ½ tsp allspice
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Melt shortening in saucepan on stove or large bowl in microwave.
- Cool slightly and add molasses and sugar mix well.
- Add flour 2 cups at a time and spices, mix well, add enough water so dough is not crumbly. Knead dough on counter top or pastry board.
Coloring the Dough
At this point you can color dough small pieces at a time. Start by first adding white paste food color to lighten the dough and then what ever color you wish.
Rolling out the dough
Roll the colors on parchment or silicone liners very thin. Cover until ready to use. Dough must be rolled on parchment to cut pieces and bake so you will not distort the pieces by moving them. Using 2 dowel rods as a guide for thickness of dough will insure you an even depth so dough will bake more evenly and pieces will fit together properly. Place the dowels on each side of your parchment (space between dowels should be about an inch less than the length of your rolling pin). Cut out your pieces, remove the excess dough, lift parchment and place on cookie sheet for baking.
Place pattern on dough leaving approximately ½ inch between pieces to allow for expansion when baking. Cut straight lines using a craft knife or pizza cutter to avoid dragging of the dough. Carefully lift away excess dough. If you plan to cut out windows or doors this should be done now. This is also the time you should do any imprinting, example – roof shingles, stone brick or siding.
Glass for windows can be made with crushed hard candy (pillowed in center) or after baking you can use fruit roll ups or gelatin sheets for the glass windows. You can also use gumdrops. Grease wax paper; place a gumdrop on paper; fold paper to cover gum drop, roll with rolling pin to very thin.
You can also thin dough, color it and pipe designs using a pastry bag and tip.
Prepared pieces are baked in a 350 degree oven for 10 – 18 minutes depending on the thickness and size of pieces. For best results all pieces on a tray should be approximately the same size.
Happy Baking and Candy Making!
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