Gingerbread for Houses
Makes one large or two small houses
This is NOT a gingerbread cookie – use this specifically for building houses. Its not to say its not edible, it is, but this is a HARD cookie – meant to be really sturdy.
The honey can get pricey so use the cheapest you find, any kind will do.
Margarine is part of the chemistry of this hard dough so do not be tempted to substitute, while I do not eat margarine myself, again, this is not a dough that once, baked you will be very tempted to eat – it bakes up HARD.
This dough gets tough fast so roll it while it’s warm and once all the dough is in even sheets, then, add your templates and cut your pieces.
If you do let the dough get too tough you can warm it gently in the microwave to make flexible again.
850 grams white or light rye flour
850 grams ounces all-purpose flour
2 medium eggs
150 grams lemon juice (bottled is fine)
1 ounces egg yolk (approximately two eggs)
½ cup margarine
448 grams honey (any use cheap honey as this can get pricey)
667 grams granulated sugar
4 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground all spice
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine rye flour, all-purpose flour, ground ginger and ground all spice.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until frothy, add lemon juice and mix well.
In a large saucepan, melt margarine over medium heat. Add sugar and honey and stir to combine well (sugar will not dissolve that’s ok).
Take sugar mix off heat and stir into egg/lemon mixture. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients in the stand mixer and using paddle attachment mix at LOW speed until just combined.
Roll dough at once, storing rolled sheets in between pieces of parchment paper.
Add templates, and cut our your pieces. Move to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes (do not underbake – since this is not a cookie you are serving, err on the side of over-baked and well done).
Remove from oven and let pieces cool completely before assembling a house. If you need to store them, layer carefully in an even layer on a cookie sheet and wrap really really well with saran wrap when you are sure they are fully cooled. These will keep for weeks.
DO NOT REFRIGERATE OR FREEZE THE BAKED PIECES.
The icing we have always used at The Studio is the recipe on the Wilton Brand Package of Meringue Powder – you will want to follow their recipe for royal and add as much more powdered sugar as you need to make a really thick shiny frosting. For one house a single large can of meringue powder will be enough.
Hobby lobby has their own brand of meringue powder as well – you can follow their package instructions as well, but again, add more powdered sugar as needed to stiffen up the icing.