While edible, this gingerbread house dough recipe is "structural." It has no leaveners that would make it puff up and distort the shapes, and it's firm so it can support lots of decorations.
This recipe is economical. It uses no expensive spices and has only five ingredients. Kids can use their hands to smoosh the dough together.
After mixing the dough, cover it with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling. It's a good idea to bake the pieces one day and assemble the next day.
If you're pressed for time, you make want to use an easy gingerbread cookie dough recipe to speed the process along.
Makes 2 gingerbread houses using this pattern. To double or triple the recipe, see the Note below.
- 2 cups light corn syrup (or dark corn syrup for a darker house)
- 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light-brown sugar (or dark brown sugar for a darker house)
- 1 1/4 cups margarine
- 9 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Before you begin the actual recipe, print out this pattern. Cut it out and transfer to light cardboard and cut again.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, heat corn syrup, brown sugar, and margarine until the margarine has melted and sugar has dissolved completely. Stir until smooth.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Add the syrup-sugar-margarine mixture, making sure it's cool enough for the kids to squish the dough until it's smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl.
- Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest at least 30 minutes at room temperature. This is a good time to wash up the dishes and get your baking pans, rolling pin and pattern pieces ready.
- If the dough is too hard or unmanageable, you can microwave it for 20 to 30 seconds. Heat the oven to 350 F. Roll out the dough 1/4-inch thick onto a sheet of parchment cut to fit your baking pan. Edgeless pans or those with only one edge are the best.
- Lightly flour the cardboard patterns and place them on the rolled-out dough, leaving a 1-inch space between pieces. Try to fit as many as you can without crowding. For clean edges, cut with a pizza wheel. Remove and reserve excess dough.
- Grab the opposite edges of the parchment paper and transfer to the baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until pieces are firm and lightly browned around the edges. Cool completely before removing from pans.
- Reroll dough scraps for the remainder of the pieces. Assemble and decorate your gingerbread house as you see fit.
Note: This recipe can be increased if you want to make it a project for several kids by doubling or even tripling the ingredients. Instead of measuring out the flour, for a double recipe, use 1 (5-pound) bag plus 1 cup flour. For a triple recipe, use 2 (5-pound) bags plus 2 cups flour.