1. Headline
  1. Headline

Video: How to make a winning gingerbread house

TODAY recipes
updated 12/21/2011 2:35:40 PM ET 2011-12-21T19:35:40

Recipe: Gingerbread house

Ingredients
  • Gingerbread
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark molasses or corn syrup (dark gives dark colored dough; corn syrup gives light dough...or use half molasses and half corn syrup for a medium colored dough)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4-4 1/2 cups of flour
  • Royal icing
  • 1 pound (1 box) powdered sugar
  • Egg whites
Preparation

For the gingerbread: Warm the first 3 ingredients in a pot over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in spices and baking soda. Using paddle attachment in mixer, combine flour and liquid mixture till soft dough is formed. Divide the dough into manageable portions and wrap in plastic (to prevent the dough from drying out). Roll and cut into desired shapes and bake at 375 degrees F for 6-12 minutes.

For the royal icing: Place powdered sugar in mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add egg white while running on low till icing is desired consistency.

Tips for decorating your gingerbread house: To get started, make sure to get a template for the house — you can buy gingerbread houses and just decorate, or you can make the gingerbread from scratch and construct the house at home. You need lots of royal icing and an assortment of candy in different colors and sizes. For candy decorations, make sure to unwrap all of the candy and place each type in separate bowls. You don't want have to unwrap candy while the royal icing begins to harden.

After you make the royal icing, transfer it to a pastry bag fitted with an icing writing tip. You can also put in a zipper freezer bag and cut a small hole at the corner to pipe the frosting. Keep the pastry bag tip covered with a damp paper towel at all times when not in use, otherwise the icing will harden.

Start by covering the gingerbread house base with royal icing snow and more candies, continuing around all four sides. Make sure to cover the seams with candies — it's colorful and fun and also hides any mistakes. Next, move on to the roof — lay down 2 or 3 beads of icing before applying roofing material. Don't forget about the back of the house!  The more candy, the better...

Some people like to eat their gingerbread house, but you can also preserve it to use as decoration next year. You need to spray it with clear acrylic. Make sure you do this in a well-ventilated area and with cardboard behind it to catch the sprays. Let it dry completely and give it another coat. When it's completely dry, store it in a box until next Christmas. Don't forget to let friends and family know that it's not edible.

Tips

If the dough is difficult to roll you can heat it gently in the microwave, knead again and then roll it.

Discuss: What did you think of this recipe?

How many stars would you give the dish? If you made changes, tell us how you customized it.

Discussion comments

,

More on TODAY.com

  1. Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

    Play nice: 4 ways to teach kindness and raise kids who aren't jerks

    7/24/2014 7:05:14 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T19:05:14
  1. Watch the full ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ trailer: What we couldn’t show on TV

    “Fifty Shades of Grey” fans, you’ve come to the right place. 

    7/24/2014 12:30:07 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T12:30:07
  2. video ‘Fifty Shades’ stars give first look at steamy film

    video Stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson offer TODAY viewers a sneak peek at the highly anticipated film. When Savannah Guthrie told Dornan that viewers had asked if he'd do the interview shirtless, he said, “I would have considered it.” 

    7/24/2014 5:22:44 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T17:22:44
  3. Not a date movie: Why ‘Fifty Shades’ a girls’ night hit

    Even though the film is opening on Valentine's Day — the biggest date night of the year — women are likely to turn the movie into a social event.

    7/24/2014 1:22:41 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T13:22:41
  4. Universal Pictures
  1. Air Algerie Flight AH5017 plane wreckage found   

    General Gilbert Diendere says the wreckage of Air Algerie Flight AH5017, which went missing with 116 people on board Thursday, has been found in Mali. 

    7/24/2014 2:47:05 PM +00:00 2014-07-24T14:47:05