DIY Gingerbread House

Happy Holidays!

I know kids are all done with their gingerbread house decoration. But maybe you could still gather the kids in your family during Christmas to decorate one or two if they are not too busy with the presents. Ha! Ha! I mean, why not? Just something to get them entertained, and the adults can drink and chat.

Last year I bought a gingerbread house set from Ikea. And this year I figured it should not be too complicated to make it from scratch. And in fact it wasn’t. I found that gingerbread cookie dough is pretty forgiving considered how many times you have to re-roll the dough, and the cookies will still come out perfect – dark, robust and spicy gingerbread cookies with a crispy edge and slightly soft centre.

I used cooking molasses for a more dark and robust gingerbread cookie. But if you prefer a lighter taste, use fancy or unsulphured molasses.

Ingredients (1 big house and 6 mini houses):
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup store-bought royal icing

Directions:
In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt.
In a bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, cinnamon and ginger on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add egg and molasses, and mix until combined.
On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out cookie dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Refer to the above picture and use a floured pizza cutter to cut out pieces.
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time.
Remove from oven and let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Use royal icing to adhere the sides of the cookie pieces to assemble individual houses.

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