This gingerbread dough is pressed into a pan and baked. The walls and roof are cut out while the cookie is still warm using a template that you make. The cookie then dries into a very hard tile, suitable for gingerbread house construction.
You will need to make two batches of this dough to create the house shown in the step-by-step instructions, but make them one at a time, for best results.See larger image of Gingerbread House
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- 1 3/4 c. sugar
- 3/4 c. honey
- 1/4 c. butter or margarine
- 1 T. dried orange peel, ground or fresh lemon peel
- Juice from one lemon or lime plus water to equal 1/4 cup
- 5 1/2 c. flour
- 2 T. baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground clove
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks, divided (reserve the whites for the frosting glue)
Grease a 12 inch by 17 inch jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with a half inch lip.
Mix the sugar, honey and butter in a pan and bring to a boil. Boil for several minutes. The sugar will not dissolve, but the mixture will be light yellow in color and homogeneous. Remove from heat, add the orange peel and lemon juice and stir until fully incorporated. Let cool slightly.
Mix the flour in a separate bowl together with the baking powder and spices. Remove 2 cups to the mixing bowl, add the sugar mixture and beat until smooth.
Add the egg and 1 egg yolk and beat until smooth. Add the rest of the flour, a cup at a time.
Adjust the consistency of the dough. You should be able to handle the dough with your hands and with very little flour. Add water or flour, 1 tablespoon at a time to reach the consistency of refrigerator cookie dough.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured board (almost no flour) to almost the size of your jelly roll pan. Transfer it to the pan and press or roll the dough into the corners, keeping the thickness even. If you are following the step-by-step for the "Swiss Chalet" house, roll one batch of dough into long ropes and lay side by side. Use the extra dough to make facia and fenceposts. Lay them on another cookie sheet.
Mix the second egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water and brush over dough. Place decorative nuts on dough, if you are using.
Bake at 350°F for 30 - 35 minutes. Remove and cut into shapes using a template before it cools completely. Don't forget to cut doors and windows as desired. You have about 1/2 hour to do this. If the sheet of dough cools, you will need to use a jigsaw for further cuts or bake another batch.
- I grind dried orange peel in a clean, old coffee grinder and add it to the sugar mixture. By the time it rehydrates and bakes, it feels and tastes a lot like candied orange peel.
- You may use a product called "Lebkuchengewürz" or gingerbread spice from Germany instead of the spices listed. "Lebkuchengewürz" consists of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, coriander, mace, nutmeg, aniseed, pimento, lemonpeel. Use 1 tablespoon and omit the other spices.