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Ginger Bread – How to build your very own Ghetto Fabulous Ginger Bread Abode.

It can’t be Christmas with out the construction of a ginger bread house.  There is nothing I find more enjoyable about the holiday season then spending a few good hours in an attempt to build a beautiful confectionary structure that ends up coming out like a run down shanty.  But its my ginger bread shanty and that is all that matters.  No matter how ugly it looks it tastes delicious.  Ginger bread can also be used for cookies as well. Follow this recipe and all your ginger bread hopes and dreams will be realized.

Total Cost – $10.85
Feeds 4-6 people

Ingredient List:

  • Dark Brown Sugar – 1/3 Cup
  • Vegetable Oil – ½ Cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Molasses – 2/3 Cup
  • Ginger – 1 Teaspoon (Ground)
  • Salt – ½ Teaspoon
  • Baking Powder – 3 Teaspoons
  • Flour  – 3 ½ Cups
  • Assorted Candy
  • No stick baking spray
  • Frosting
    • Shortening – ½ Cup
    • Powdered Sugar – 20 oz
    • Salt – Pinch
    • Vanilla Extract – 1 Table Spoon
    • Milk – 1/3 Cup

 

Step 1: Mix Ginger Bread BatterIn a large mixing bowl combine Dark Brown Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Egg, Molasses, Ginger, Salt, Baking Powder, Flour till you have a dough like consistency.  When well blended it should be dark brown.

This is the color and consistency your finished dough should have.

Step 2: Spread Dough in to baking panPreheat oven to 350 Degrees F.  Spray non-stick baking spray in baking pan 9” x 13”.  Spread dough evenly through out.  For cookies you should flatten your dough to be around ½” for a house 1/3”.  This recipe will be enough ginger bread for a small house, double or triple depending on size of structure you wish to create.  If you are going to make your cookies from cutouts be sure to cut shapes prior to baking.  The same goes for intricate house projects. If you are building a standard house like I do then you can do your cut outs after baking although I still find doing it before is easier.

Step 3: Bake Ginger BreadPlace pan into the oven and bake for 10 minutes for cookies, 13-15 minutes for a house.  For cookies you should have a soft feel to your ginger break for house it should be rather hard.

Step 4: Make FrostingFrosting is not only for making faux snow decoration but is also the mortar that holds your house together.  It will be the decoration for your cookies as well.  In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients (powdered sugar, salt) and mix with shortening.  Cube up shortening prior to adding to mixture.  Mix till you have formed little balls with both sugar and shortening.  Add Vanilla Extract and slowly add milk till you have an icing consistency.  Blend with electric mixer if possible or elbow power will do as well.

Your finished icing.

Step 5: Build and Decorate Your House/CookiesIf your just doing cookies then your pretty much done here.  Use the frosting and your pick of candy and decorate the heck out of them.  If your doing a house your work has just begun.  Take a piece of cardboard an adequate size to accommodate your house and cover it with aluminum foil.  This will be the property for your home.

 

Next get your pieces in order.  It is very important to use some type of pattern for both your roof and house pieces to make sure it comes out even otherwise you will end up with a crooked house.  You pieces depend on the house you intend to build.  For a basic house you will need two isosceles triangles for the roofline and two rectangles for the roof top.  Then another two rectangles for the sides of the house and two squares for the front and back.  Its best to figure out some type of scale before starting.  This is if you want perfection, but if your impetuous like myself you can just wing it and see what happens.  I find this makes some of the most comical houses.  Use the icing to hold your pieces together and glue your house to the cardboard.  The icing will also hold your candy to the house as well.

A small house circa 2004

A Ginger Bread Monstrosity circa 2005

Small house with a Tree shaped cookie

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