- 1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp cloves
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- 1 egg
- 1-3 tbsp ice cold water (if needed)
For the Stained Glass Windows
- broken jolly ranchers (varying colors or specific colors depending on your preference)
For the Royal Icing
- 1 large egg white
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and honey and blend at low speed until incorporated, scraping the bowl once or twice during mixing.
- Sift flour, baking soda, all spices and sea salt together and add to the mixture. The gingerbread dough should be nice and smooth. Add water to mixture if needed. Cover the dough and chill overnight or at least 3 hours.
- The Next Day
- Remove half of the dough mixture from the refrigerator and let it sit for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll it out evenly onto a sheet of parchment paper to between ¼ and ⅛ inch thickness, dusting the dough occasionally with flour to avoid sticking.
- Place the templates on the dough (you can draw your own templates, like I did) and cut out the panels with a pastry cutter, pizza cutter or sharp knife.
- Use the same steps on the remaining dough in the refrigerator for the rest of the pieces. You should end up with 6 house pieces and 4 chimney pieces: 1 front, 1 back, 2 sides, 2 roof panels and 4 chimney pieces. Use cookie cutters on some of the remaining dough to make cookies.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F with the oven rack in the middle. While oven is heating, place the cookie sheets with the dough in the freezer about 20 minutes to help them bake evenly. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until medium brown.
- For the Stained Glass Windows
- Remove from oven and immediately place broken jolly rancher into each of your window cut outs filling in the whole space.
- Bake for 2-3 minutes or until the jolly ranchers are completely melted and the surface is smooth. The windows will look like stained glass!
- When house pieces are completely cool, they should be stiff and ready for assembling. To assemble the house you will need to make royal icing.
- For the Royal Icing
- Mix all the ingredients on high for 4-5 minutes. Use a stand mixer for best results. Royal icing will begin to set up fairly quickly so make sure you cover the bowl when not using. You can dye some of the icing if you want another color besides white.
- Assembling the House
- After that, pick a solid base for your gingerbread house such as a thick, sturdy piece of cardboard lined with florist foil, a cake stand, or plate.
- Pipe a thick line of icing along the bottom and sides of the front panel and along the bottom of one side panel (it doesn’t matter which side).
- Press the front and side together down on the base. Hold in place for a few minutes until the icing is partially set. Pipe another thick line of icing on the side and bottom edges of the second side panel, and place it against the edge of front piece and base. Hold in place to set.
- Repeat with the back piece, aligning all the corners and edges. Get an extra set of hands or cans from your pantry to help hold the panels in place, if necessary.
- Pipe additional icing along the seams inside the house to fill in any gaps and add stability. Let stand for at least 20 minutes before adding the roof pieces. For the roof, pipe icing all along the top edges of front, back and two sides.
- Place both roof panels on the structure at the same time, making sure the top edges of the roof panels are touching each other. Hold in place for a few minutes to set.
- Pipe more icing along the top seam. Place the chimney on the roof, too and let the whole house stand for at least an hour before adding decorations.
- Finally! It's time for the fun part: the decorating! There are so many creative ways to decorate these. Here are some ideas: starlight mints, pull n peel licorice, frosted dots, candy canes of all sizes, pretzels for a fence, chocolate covered raisins for a path, red hots, m&m's, sparkling sugars, coconut, marshmallows, etc.
- To glue the candy onto the gingerbread house use royal icing!
- Add a sprinkling of powdered sugar for the perfect, snowy finishing touch. Merry Christmas!
Carve some time out of your busy holiday season, gather your family members and make a Gingerbread House. This one of a kind Christmas table decoration.
The gingerbread tastes great to eat too, so make yourself a few gingerbread men to nibble on while decorating, if you want.