want to build a gingerbread house. What are some good resources?
love gingerbread houses, too, and since having children I can now fully
dive into the fun every year without being critical of what it looks
like. Some pastry chefs and enthusiasts really get into detail and I'm
so amazed at the workmanship of these would-be architects and designers;
some of the buildings look move-in ready for very fortunate gingerbread
first place to look for resources is the library because, if you are
lucky, you may find lots of books about gingerbread building without
forking over an arm and a leg. Or maybe just one book in particular
that is out of print: The Gingerbread Book by Steven Stellingwerf.
Recipes, history, templates and examples, a great way to introduce yourself
to gingerbread house construction (or maybe a carousel or gazebo). Do
a search on Amazon.com and Ebay and you are inundated with kits, molds,
books and more.
are some templates, recipes and such that I have found on the internet
over time. The first section has files in .pdf, .ppt and .doc formats
so that you can print them off and use the templates and have hard copies
of the recipes and instructions. The rest are recipes, templates and
info all about gingerbread houses. Take a look at them and experiment
with the recipes to find the one that you like the best.
a good base. Cover it with wax paper or foil over the edge to the
bottom and tape securely in place. This protects the surface (I use
a large, heavy cutting board for my base) and it makes clean up a
cinch after the holidays. Trying to pry off icing is not much fun.
experimenting with the doughs, roll out some of the dough to the same
thickness you will be making the house. Cut out using any shape cookie
cutter, then bake. When done, compare with the cutter: if it spreads
some you know you will have to trim up edges when it is removed from
the oven, if it holds its shape you have nothing to change, if it
spreads a great deal and the resulting cut-out is much thinner than
what you rolled it out as, you may have to adjust the recipe ingredients
or find another recipe.
about what you wish to "glue" the gingerbread house with.
Some recipes call for the standard royal icing and some use a shortening
or confectioner's sugar base icing. Other ideas: melted dark or white
chocolate, melted sugar (for advanced decorators, not for children)
and other melted candies.
you choose the template, decide what you want the decorations to be
or how the house will look like. Just because the template calls for
4 square walls doesn't mean you can't cut out your windows, doorways
and such. Save those cut-outs for the open door for the front of the
house, the cut-out windows for shutters, etc. If you don't want to
cut out any openings, design your entryways and windows with candy,
cookies or icing.
- It may be really
hard to do so, with the anticipation of creating something so wonderful
and all, but wait until the icing or whatever glue you are using is
completely dry or has set up. Completely. I've learned from experience
the value of patience...
- Any scraps can
be used for tiles for the roof (cut into rough square or rectangle
pieces or cut out in uniform circles). You can also cut out chimneys
or make gingerbread people for the scene outside the house. You can
also cut out a snaking figure the same width as the front entryway/door
to be used as a sidewalk leading up to the house. And whether or not
your windows are cut out, you can create shutters: simple square or
rectangle ones or elaborate arched ended ones or using a sharp knife
create jagged or scalloped edges for the outside of the shutters.
- While gingerbread
is the common dough to use for the house (and it makes the house smell
so Christmas-y), you can also experiment with you favorite vanilla
or chocolate cookie dough. Just be sure the resulting pieces will
have the stability for assembly: use a firm cookie dough for cut out
cookies that keeps its shape.
- Finally, remember
that the houses in most cases will eventually be eaten, nibbled or
snacked on. So while making it beautiful for decoration for the holiday
season is one great reason to build one, they don't have to be perfect
to be enjoyed or appreciated.
links accurate as of 2008.
download: Complete gingerbread projects with recipes, templates and
format, Powerpoint .ppt and Word .doc formats:
how to from King Arthur Flour: the basics, templates, recipes, pictures,
complete how to from fashion-era.com: pictures, recipes, and the assembly
of the house.
Bakersfield College, here is a recipe for gingerbread, suggestion
for chocolate glue instead of meringue, template, plus other candy
Kendall College, how to make a cardboard gingerbread house, for kids
guide for building gingerbread houses.
Food and Recipelink.com: gingerbread house template, recipe and instructions.
Stewart Sugar Cube house (I know it's not gingerbread, but it's cute.)
presentation on building a gingerbread house from the computer science
student's page of BYU.
and such from HGTV: links, recipes, pictures and tips.
of ingredients, pattern, recipes and assembly from Dinner Co-op.
annual gingerbread house from Good Housekeeping.
Texascooking.com, gingerbread house recipe and instructions.
recipes, pictures, templates and examples.
Crocker's Haunted Gingerbread House.
recipe, instruction and link for template.
and recipe from foodnetwork.com.
Fun's kid's first gingerbread house: info, recipes and assembly.
Appétit's gingerbread class on epicurious.com.
a gingerbread house with pictures and recipes: kitchengifts.com.
wafer's gingerbread house recipe and instructions.
blueprints and templates to print, instructions and more: Gingerbread
101 from Celebrating-Christmas.com.
house for kids made out of graham crackers, from Zoom tv
iparty.com, links for .pdf files for the recipe and instructions and
the templates for a gingerbread house.
recipe and instructions for a house from Jamboree, a UK educational
ambitious haunted gingerbread house, using sugar dough.
Sugar: A large gingerbread house: simple roof, sides and front/back,
ready for cutout.
house pattern from a professor at BYU.
Vila's Colonial Style Gingerbread House template.
FamilyFun, a gingerbread train template including engine, caboose,
and coal and lumber cars.
of the South magazine's link to a gingerbread house template.
StarChefs.com, .gif format templates to print out for templates.
templates and patterns for unique houses from Frankysattic.com.
house template from GingerbreadLane.com.
Stewart's gingerbread house template.
template for a gingerbread house, in .jpg form.
In One Bake Shop in Austin, Tx: recipe for gingerbread plus other
GingerbreadLane.com, recipes for gingerbread, icing and instructions.
instructions, pictures, etc:
and html files:
C&H Sugar, construction tips for gingerbread houses.
the house together, from Mary Ellen and HGTV.
you are wanting to preserve it, tips for preserving yours from GingerbreadLane.com.
and saving gingerbread houses from ehow.com.
Hotels.About.com, some gingerbread ideas pre and post construction.
for inspiration? Go to Frankys
Attic and look at the many examples.
Good luck and have fun....
© 2004-2010 Renee Shelton.
All Rights Reserved.
Confections, Truffles, Candy
Pies, Tarts, Tartlets
Crusts, Shells, Bases
Quick & Yeast Breads
Savory Items for Tea Menus
Index of Recipes