One of the Christmas traditions my kids enjoy every year is making gingerbread houses. The recipe below is tried and true, though it can be a little challenging getting all of the pieces cut, baked, cooled, and glued together with frosting. But once the hard part is done the kids really enjoy decorating their own custom cottages with a plethora of candies and royal icing.
There are many alternatives to gingerbread (if you want to make this a no-bake recipe)–graham crackers, pretzel rods, and other store bought cookies can be used instead of or in addition to the homemade option to create a diverse display that lets the kids really express themselves. I’m helping with a project this year that is going to involve making 100 houses- we’ll be using graham crackers!
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 2 ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar and butter; add molasses and egg.
- In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients and whisk together. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat until consistently mixed.
- Divide into two disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour until well chilled.
- After chilling dough, pre-heat oven to 350ºF.
- Roll chilled dough on a lightly floured surface to ¼ inch thickness for cookies, or according to the recommended thickness if you are using cookie cutters from a kit. Cut to desired shapes and place on greased baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes.
- Cookies can be decorated with raisins before baking or royal icing after.