First, print off the Gingerbread House template and then cut it out and trace it onto a cereal box, and then cut that out, too.
MAKE THE GINGERBREAD DOUGH:
Next, bring shortening, sugar, molasses, and vinegar to a boil in a large saucepan. Then let it cool to almost room temperature before mixing in the egg.
Mix dry ingredients and add to the molasses mixture, ensuring you mix it well.
Allow the dough to chill long enough to handle it with your bare hands before rolling out and cutting it. We recommend at least 45 minutes. You can even chill it overnight.
ROLL OUT AND CUT THE DOUGH:
Next, roll dough onto parchment paper and cut out the gingerbread house pieces except for the windows and doors using a paring knife. You will cut the windows and doors out after the gingerbread pieces are done baking. Pick up the parchment paper and place it on a cookie sheet after cutting the shapes.
BAKE THE GINGERBREAD HOUSE PIECES:
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Gently place the house template back on the baked shapes and quickly re-cut edges for straight lines. Next, cut out the windows and door.
PREP CARDBOARD BASES:
Wrap a piece of sturdy cardboard (Amazon boxes or Pizza box lids work great) in foil.
MAKE THE SUGAR GLUE:
Make the sugar glue by cooking down 2 cups of sugar in a 1-inch frying pan over medium to high heat. You’ll know it is done when you can drop a small amount into a glass of water, and it forms a ball.
CONSTRUCT THE HOUSES USING THE SUGAR GLUE:
Next, work quickly and dip the base of the front piece of the house in the glue and place it on the desired location of your surface.
Then, using one side piece, dip the base and one side and attach it to the front of the house. Do the same for the other side piece.
Next, using the back piece, dip the base and drizzle some sugar from a spoon down either side of the back piece before attaching it to the side pieces.
Drizzle sugar glue down the backside of the roof pieces and place on the top of the houses. Use sugar glue to attach the door in an open position.
MAKE THE ROYAL ICING:
In a large bowl using a handheld mixer, or using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat all of the ingredients together on low until the powdered sugar is absorbed, increasing the speed to high, and beat for 7-10 minutes. Use immediately. Cover unused icing with a damp paper towel to keep the frosting from drying out.
Finally, fill the piping bags fitted with round piping tips with the royal icing. Decorate the houses using royal icing and candies of your choosing. Have fun, and take lots of pictures for family memories!
This recipe makes 2 houses and each house will serve about 6 people each.