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How to Make a Gingerbread House

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Making a gingerbread house isn't as difficult as it might seem. If you have the right recipes and the right techniques, it's a snap.

1. First, Pick a Gingerbread House Style and Theme

Side View of Gingerbread House 2009
© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Take a look at this gallery of gingerbread house pictures for inspiration or use your imagination and my pattern(s) or your own. Check back often as house pictures are added.

2. Gingerbread House Dough Recipe

Gingerbread dough should rest 30 minutes before rolling.
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This economical recipe is for "structural" gingerbread, meaning, while it's edible, it's meant for building, not for eating.

3. Betty Crocker Limited Edition Gingerbread Cookie Mix: A Review

Gingerbread House Made with Betty Crocker's Gingerbread Cookie Mix
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This limited edition mix (don't confuse this with Betty Crocker's Gingerbread Cake and Cookie Mix) makes great houses. The dough bakes up sturdy enough to support lots of candy and icing. It's a real time saver. Read the full review of Betty Crocker's Limited Edition Gingerbread Cookie Mix.

4. Gingerbread House Patterns

A simple three-piece pattern. Cut two gable sides, two long sides and two roofs.
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Print and cut out these gingerbread house patterns or this fantasy house pattern. Transfer them to lightweight cardboard and cut again.

5. How to Roll and Cut Gingerbread House Dough

Use a nonserrated pizza wheel or pastry cutter to cut out the patterns.
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
These step-by-step instructions make it easy to roll and cut gingerbread house dough.

6. Royal Icing Recipe

Royal icing should be stiff enough to hold a peak, but not so dry that it will crack.
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Royal icing is the glue that holds a gingerbread house together.

7. How to Fill a Pastry Bag

Use a plastic coupler and ring for ease in changing pastry tips.
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
These step-by-step instructions show how to fill a pastry bag with icing.

8. How to Assemble a Gingerbread House

Have all your equipment at the ready before you begin to assemble a gingerbread house.
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Choose a base for your house and follow these step-by-step instructions for assembling a gingerbread house.

9. How to Decorate a Gingerbread House

Kids usually like to overload their houses with candy, so let them.
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
These step-by-step instructions for decorating a gingerbread house are merely a guide. Let your imagination run wild!
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