Create Your Own Gingerbread Houses in Bulk: Part 1

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If you’ve been wondering what I’ve been doing this week, here stands my proof. Eight homemade gingerbread house sets are ready to decorate on Monday. Yes, I bake in bulk and yes, this was a HUGE class project in all my foods classes. However, I think it’s going to be amazing to see what the kids create next week. In the meantime, I want to share our recipe we’re working with and how wonderful it makes your kitchen or the whole school smell.

This works best if it’s made ahead of time to firm up and have less moisture. We made ours 2 days ahead of time and it worked well. Even the stickier dough I was concerned about worked out.

My very best tips after trial and error and test driving ways to cut out, you tubes, etc:

  1. Use parchment paper-It’s a blessing
  2. Roll and cut out templates on parchment paper AND remove scraps. Do not move the cut out template piece or it will stretch and become distorted.
  3. Be generous with the flour especially if your dough is sticky. You can always use a pastry brush and remove the excess flour off.
  4. Don’t allow cookies to hang off pan or bend slightly; keep flat and cut the parchment paper into smaller pieces if necessary to lay flat on pan. Cookies overhanging on the cookie sheet edge or slightly bent will crack and break when cooled. Cut the parchment paper to lay flat on the pan. Trust me, I know.

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This recipe created enough for  this basic template without the chimney, path and door. We still had leftovers for a few cut out cookies they will use as props on their board. Some groups cut out a few windows and a door in the end.

Gingerbread House Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup margarine (1 stick)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup molasses

Directions:

Cream margarine and sugar with paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add egg and molasses and combine.  Add flour, baking soda, salt and spices and mix on low speed until dough is mixed together. Separate dough into two discs and wrap each in plastic wrap. Store in a gallon size ziploc bag with group name if you’re making more than one house. Refrigerate 12-48 hours for best results.

Roll out on a liberally floured piece of parchment paper to about 1/4″ thickness and cut into desired template shapes. Bake for about 14 minutes at 350 degrees.

Move parchment paper to wire rack and cool for about 5 minutes. Remove parchment paper and cool completely before placing back inside gallon size bags with the largest pieces on the bottom being careful to not crack or break pieces. Store flat until ready to assemble.

Our four kitchens looked like a flour bomb had exploded in each one by the end of the day. A glimspe of one of the bombs :)

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I made the mistake of wearing a black dress, but I wore my black apron. It looked like this at the end of the day.

IMG_9732But we were blessed with many cookie pieces ready for construction on Monday.

IMG_9724I’m very excited and happy to report that we all survived and we are ready to create royal icing on Monday and assemble our houses. Next up is our royal icing recipe. Stay tuned and look for our finished products!

Do you make homemade gingerbread houses?

 

 

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