Welcome to a place where we can share ideas about grandparenting, especially ways to pass spiritual values and family stories to the next generation.

Mary is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart.
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Co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart

Friday, December 5, 2008

Let's Make a Gingerbread House

Friday’s Fun

For almost two decades, our family has made gingerbread houses during the Christmas holidays. We have a great time doing this!

I use the following recipe, adapted from one printed years ago in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Basic Corn Syrup Gingerbread Dough

9 cups unsifted flour
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind (optional)
One and one-half tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups light corn syrup
One and one-half cups light brown sugar firmly packed
One and one-fourth cups butter or margarine

Combine flour, lemon rind, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a large bowl. Stir together corn syrup, brown sugar and butter in a 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter is melted and ingredients are well mixed. Pour liquid mixture into flour mixture and stir until blended.

Form dough into a ball and knead until smooth and pliable. Roll out dough and cut into 1/4" thickness, using a lightly floured rolling pin. Cut out desired shapes for houses and gingerbread men. We cut out a cardboard pattern with three shapes (cut two of each shape):

roof—5 1/4" x 3 1/2"

side—4 1/4" x 3 1/2"

and peaked side 2 3/4" x 3 1/2" with triangle on top. The peak of the triangle is 4 1/2" from the base of the rectangle it sits on.

You can make the houses as large or small as you like. The above recipe will make two small gingerbread houses and a few gingerbread men (use cookie cutters for them).

Put shapes on cookie sheets that have been sprayed or greased lightly with Crisco (or something similar). Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until shapes are firm and lightly browned. Cool shapes completely on racks before assembling.

Snow Frosting

3 egg whites (if possible, at room temperature)
1 pound box confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar

Place the above ingredients in a large bowl and beat at medium or high speed until stiff (approximately 5 minutes). Cover with damp cloth.

Makes about 2 cups.

Use this to glue houses together, attach decorations and make icicles. After building house, allow frosting to dry at least one hour before decorating. I allow the houses to dry overnight. To see more pictures of the gingerbread house assembly, visit www.marymaywrites.com.

It’s so fun for Pops and me to watch the grandkids make gingerbread houses now—brings back great memories while making some new ones.

Hope that you and your family will be able to make a gingerbread house together.

He is able,

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