How to Make A Gingerbread House

Congratulations! to everyone who participated in the "Budding Masters Gingerbread Workshop" at the New York Botanical Garden, and made such beautiful little one-of-a-kind Gingerbread homes!
STEP 1: Idea and Design 1. We start with a sketch
2. Then we make a 3 dimensional dummy display house out of cardboard (or foam core)
3. Cut out templates. Templates are pieces of paper cut in exactly the shapes and sizes of the houses.  We uses these as guides to cut out our shapes of rolled out gingerbread dough. *See video at end of post for how-to.
STEP 2: Make the Dough, Bake & Cool 1. Make recipe for gingerbread cookies, below
2. Refrigerate the dough 
3. Use a rolling pin to roll our the dough to about 1/4" thickness
4. Use templates to cut out the shapes of your house 
5. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until slightly browned on edges
STEP 2: Make the Dough, Bake & Cool  1. "Glue" the walls and then the roof together with royal icing (see video at end of post)
2. decorate with colorful candy, icing and fondant
 Gingerbread Cookie Recipe (from the quintessential baker,  Patti Paige)
9 oz. unsalted butter
7 oz. brown sugar
1 ½T ground ginger
1T cinnamon
½t ground cloves
1t salt
2 lg. eggs
18 oz. dark molasses
32 oz. all purpose flour
2t baking soda
1t baking powder
Cream together butter and sugar. Add spices, salt, egg, and molasses, and beat well. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder; add to butter mixture and beat again. Chill dough for several hours. Heat oven 350 degrees. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool.
*Royal Icing: For this project we made our royal icing out of Meringue powder because it sets up and is stable faster.  Follow directions on package, (combine Meringue powder, water and confectioners sugar).
If icing is too thick, add a little water. If too thin, add more sugar. Spread on gingerbread pieces or decorate with pastry bag and tip.

above: template for the basic "classic" style gingerbread house from our workshop.  Print out at 100% on an 8X10 piece of paper.
Thank you again to Papabubble, NYC for the most amazing candy:
*Here is a super quick & a little cheesy (in-the-best-possible-way) stop-motion video from HowCast to show you the basics on how to build a gingerbread house:

*This last house was made for our dear friend, Michelle who lost her house in hurricane Sandy.  (Small gestures of love at a crazy time can help).


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