Halloween Gingerbread House
I love making Halloween gingerbread houses, they don’t have to be perfect. I’m a little OCD when it comes to any other holiday I might make one for. Halloween the imperfections just add to the charm. I don’t cut the windows straight and I don’t even get the walls perfectly square.
I just let it happen. I didn’t even have a plan when I started and I only bought 3 bags of candy. I usually get 20 it seems or even more.
Close Up of Halloween Gingerbread House
See the cute little trees? So perfect for a Halloween House. However do not cut the gingerbread into 8 inch strips for these trees 5 – 6 inches will do or you will end up with something big enough to hang on the wall. Ask me how I know this? Because I did it and I may get brave enough to show it to you because it sure is funny! I realized how out of control it was when I started making the smaller ones. Sure glad I did however! I think they are darling.
I used Spice Flavored Pumpkin Marshmallows cut in half for the roof.
Tips for Making a Gingerbread House.
Once my dough is made I don’t use any additional flour to roll it out. The oil in the dough makes it easy to roll out and it doesn’t stick on me. If it starts to pull up a little of the dough when you are rolling it, I spray my rolling pin with a little cooking spray and wipe with a paper towel.
Refrigerate you dough after you cut the pieces, but before you bake it. It slows down the spreading of the dough when it bakes.
When it comes out of the oven, lay your pattern pieces back on top of the pieces and if you have a lot of spread, recut those edges. You will have an easier time putting it together if you do this.
I usually make my front and back house pieces a tad thicker than the outside walls and roof. They will be supporting the weight of the roof. If the area is really big that spans the structure sometimes I make a third piece and use it inside as roof support. It really depends on what I am making, most houses won’t need this. (I made a huge structure once that we put 10 lbs. of chocolate on the roof, it needed 3 additional supports.)
When I start assembling I usually use soup cans as supports for my walls until they dry. Don’t forget to take them out before putting on the roof. When I put the roof up I find a can or several to prop up the roof from the bottom so it doesn’t shift.
When you make your royal icing make sure to keep it covered with a damp cloth to prevent it drying out. Store any extra in the refrigerator. Rewhip if necessary. Lasts a long time in the refrigerator.
You can make a lot of decorations yourself using royal icing. For instance if you draw a spider web, put a piece of wax paper on top and make it using your royal icing. Need 2 or more, move your pattern over and repeat. Sprinkle with sprinkles if desired while still wet.
If you want black frosting buy a paste food coloring (lots) and add a few tablespoons of sifted cocoa to it.
If you are doing this with the kids, I would assemble it first and have them come in at the decorating point. The younger they are, they loose interest fast. If you are OCD bake them a small house they can do themselves while you do the big one. The roof on this house is cut pumpkin spice marshmallows that I had left over from another fall recipe for Oatmeal Pumpkin Cups I did a few weeks ago.
Gingerbread recipe that I have used for over 20 years is what I used to make this Halloween Gingerbread House
- 5 cups all purpose flour - about
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 1 cup Crisco
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cups molasses
- 2 eggs
Thoroughly blend the flour, salt and spices together. Set aside.
Heat the Crisco in a pan until it melts. Stir in sugar and continue to stir until it melts off of the heat. Cool. Stir in the molasses and eggs. Add to your mixer bowl.
Add 4 cups of the flour mixture to the molasses mixture. Mix well until thoroughly combined. Add in remaining flour. Knead until it comes together. Let set for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Take about 1/3 of the gingerbread mix and make a ball. Roll it out on the back of a sprayed cookie sheet. Lay your pattern on and figure out the best arrangement. Read tips above. Cut the pieces out with a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Remove excess gingerbread. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Remove cookie sheets from refrigerator and bake for about 10 - 12 minutes. It should just be beginning to brown around the edges. Remove to a wire rack to dry overnight before assembling.
Any extra dough should be refrigerated. Let come to room temperature before using.
adapted from Wilton - there is no way to give accurate times, time will depend on your experience and how elaborate or simple you want to be.
Halloween Gingerbread House