Gingerbread House Cookies

gingerbread-house-cookiesI may have gone slightly overboard with my holiday baking this year. I just couldn’t help myself – there were so many adorable, delicious treats to make, and while I feel completely worn out, I’m glad I made all of it.

These gingerbread house cookies were inspired by a cute cookie cutter I found at the craft store last week – a little house, along with a little gingerbread man. I simply had to make these houses, and decorate them as one would a regular gingerbread house (the three-dimensional kind).

The recipe below made 9 cookies, so you’ll want to double the quantities for a larger batch. I had enough dough left over for about 6 miniature gingerbread men as well.

Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  •  8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar

Preparation

In a medium bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, salt, and pepper; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, and molasses until fluffy, about three minutes.

Add flour in two batches, beating until well-combined.

Flatten dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate about one hour, until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into house shapes.

Bake for about 12 minutes; you do not want the gingerbread to burn, so keep an eye on it.

Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Zella’s Icing

Ingredients

  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-2 teaspoons water, if necessary
  • Red and green food coloring
  • Flower-shaped sprinkles, if desired

Preparation

Combine egg white, shortening, salt, and one cup powdered sugar in a mixing bowl.  Beat on low speed until combined, then increase speed to medium, then high, and beat for one minute.

Add additional cup powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed for one minute.

Add vanilla and almond extracts.  Beat on high speed for one or two minutes, until very well combined.

Check the frosting’s texture; it should be like very, very soft peanut butter and very easily spreadable.  If necessary, add one to two teaspoons of water to thin the frosting and beat well to combine.

To decorate your cookies, fit a small piping bag with a small plain tip and pipe on doorways and windows. Replace the tip with a star tip to pipe on snow.

Tint frosting green and add wreaths, trees, and shrubs.

Tint frosting red and add berries to your wreaths and shrubs, as well as other decorative dots or shapes.

Use white frosting as glue to adhere flower shapes, if desired.

Allow frosting to set for about 30 minutes before storing. Store at room temperature in an airtight container between layers of waxed paper for about 3 days.

 

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