How-to: Craft a gingerbread house from scratch

Re-creating a childhood memory has never been so fun and easy. If you are looking to change things up this holiday season, try building your own gingerbread house from scratch. Build the traditional house with four walls and a roof, or if your inner architect desires, try building a replica of the James Building or the Yeager Center. Follow these easy steps:

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
8 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Rolling pin
Baking sheet
Poster board
1 can of frosting
Plastic zip bag

Making the Gingerbread
1. Combine butter, brown sugar and eggs and stir until blended.

2. Add your dry ingredients to a second bowl. Combine 2 cups of flour, baking soda, salt and spices. After you give a good mix of the dry ingredients, mix the two bowls of ingredients together.

3. Slowly add in the 6 cups of remaining flour to the mixture. Fold it back and forth until it is incorporated well and you have a nice doughy consistency.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out dough to the desired thickness. 1/8 of an inch is recommended to build a manageable house. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then let cool before you build.

Building Your Gingerbread House
1. Create your template with poster board for the gingerbread house. This is where you can be creative. Just sketch out the building you wish to create and then you can decide on how you will create the shapes. If you do not feel up to the artistic challenge, but still want a spectacular gingerbread house, templates can be found at any craft store like Michael’s.

2. Cut the gingerbread with a sharp knife into the shapes you have selected. (Tip: run the knife under cold water before cutting to get a smooth cut).

3. Spoon frosting into a plastic bag and cut off the tip to create an easy frosting dispenser.

4. Squeeze out frosting along the edges of the gingerbread shapes and glue them together. Let the pieces dry, then go back and use the frosting as glue on the outside of the seams of the house.

5. Let your gingerbread house stand still for at least 30 minutes.6. Decorate your gingerbread house with small candies using the frosting as glue. Use Kit Kat bars, peppermint candies and Twizzlers for designing. Marshmallows make great snowmen to be placed next to your gingerbread house for added character. (Tip: Use toothpicks to attach larger pieces of candy to the house).

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