Gingerbread houses are a festive decoration. They can be as simple or complicated as you desire. Here I will explain how to make an elf gingerbread house. This house is simple to create and you can use the decorations I used or easily create your own style. I have included the recipes and templates I used. Along with the supplies you will need to create this cute elf house. This could also be a fun activity that you could include your children in.
Use the template as a guide by using the measurements for each piece. I suggest you use cardboard as your template. Regular paper isn’t very sturdy and can stick to the dough. You will need two sides, two roofs, a front with a door and a back without a door.
½ cup shortening
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
½ cup molasses
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
4 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350. Place the first four ingredients in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stirring until sugar dissolves. Take off burner and stir in ginger and cinnamon. Then stir in one cup of flour at a time until a ball of dough forms. Place dough on either aluminum foil or parchment paper and roll to about ¼ inch. If you want you could also roll dough directly on a baking sheet.
Place templates on dough and cut out shapes with sharp knife. Put foil or paper on baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes. Once out of the oven the dough may need to be trimmed. Wearing oven mitts put template on the gingerbread and trim. Allow gingerbread to cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes before placing on wire racks to cool completely.
While your gingerbread is cooling create a base to build your gingerbread house on. Your base should be sturdy because the house will be heavy after it is done. Thick cardboard would be a good idea or you could cover a cutting board with aluminum foil.
2 egg whites
2-2/3 cups of confectioner’s sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Put all ingredients in a bowl. Use a mixer at low speed for 1 minute then on high for six minutes or until the icing is thick. (When the icing is not in use place a wet paper towel over the bowl to prevent it from drying out)
Note – The icing is not edible since it uses uncooked egg whites.
Building the Gingerbread House
1. Place icing in a plastic zipper bag with a small hole cut in the corner or pastry bag with a small round tip. Start with the back of the house placing a line of icing on the bottom of the piece put on base. Prop the piece up with small cans to hold in place.
2. Place icing on the end of one side and press onto the edge of the house back. Again prop piece up with cans. Do the same for the second side.
3. Place icing on both edges of the front side of house and press the sides pieces onto it, propping the pieces up. Allow the icing to harden about ten minutes before proceeding.
4. Place icing on the top edges of the front and back pieces and on the tops of the sides then attach roof pieces. The roof pieces may need to be held in place for a minute so that they don’t fall down. Once secure apply a thick strip of icing where the two roof pieces meet.
Supplies Needed For Decorating
Frosted Mini Wheats
Hersheys Chocolate Bar
Green Food Coloring
Decorating the Gingerbread House
Roof – Staring at the top of the roof place a line of icing across then place mini wheats on the icing in a row. Repeat this step until the roof is covered in mini wheats on both sides. Then dye some icing green and with a flower tip to create the garland along the roof edges. Also with the flower tip create a garland down the center then place M&Ms on the garland.
Wreath – Put a drop of icing on green M&Ms then place on house until they form a semi circle. Then use the red M&Ms to create the bow.
Walkway – Break a Hershey bar into pieces. Put icing on each piece and lay in front of door, leaving about a centimeter between each piece. Using the white icing run the icing between the Hershey pieces and around the sides.
Fence and Ground – Using a rubber spatula smear the icing all over the base. Using the pretzels line them up from the house then around to meet the walkway. Then sprinkle the coconut all over the icing. For a finishing touch line the pretzels with icing.
These are only suggestions and you can use all or some to create your own elf house. Have fun and be creative. You can’t go wrong with a gingerbread house when the only “rule” is that everything is food. Good luck on making your own elf gingerbread house.