This Valentine’s Day Gingerbread House is so fun to make! It is decorated with cute Valentines candies and colors. They aren’t just for Christmas anymore!
My daughter, Alexa, gets all the credit for this Gingerbread House – aka “Lexa’s Love Shack”. We usually make a Gingerbread house during the holidays, but didn’t get to it this year. She was disappointed, so I told her we would make a Valentine’s Day Gingerbread House instead. She held me to the promise and we made this together today. She is very creative and came up with all of the decorative ideas. I found a great recipe for the gingerbread from Barbara Rolek at About.com. The dough was very easy to work with and it is nice and strong – we didn’t have any problems with it chipping or breaking. I also liked that the dough is a lighter color and looks more like sugar cookie dough for Valentine’s Day.
For the icing:
- 3 Tbsp meringue powder or 3 egg whites, but if you plan on eating the icing, use the meringue powder
- 6 Tbsp warm water
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Print out the gingerbread house pattern, or use a pattern of your own. Cut out the pattern. Trace it on light cardboard. Cut out the cardboard.
- Click here here for the gingerbread house pattern we used from About.com.
- In a medium microwave safe bowl, heat corn syrup, brown sugar and margarine until the margarine has melted and sugar is completely dissolved. Stir until smooth.
- In a large bowl or mixer, combine flour and salt. Add the heated sugar mixture. Blend in the mixer, or knead with your hands, into dough.
- Combine the dough into a large mound and wrap in plastic. Let dough rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- After 30 minutes, turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Unwrap the dough, and roll out into 1/8-1/4 inch thickness on a large piece of parchment paper (1/4 inch thickness makes pretty thick and heavy pieces to work with, if you use 1/8 inch the pieces are thinner and you can stretch the dough to make two houses). If the dough is too hard, you can microwave it for 20-30 seconds. This softens the dough and makes it more manageable.
- Lightly flour the cardboard patterns and place them on the rolled-out dough, leaving 1 inch space between pieces. For clean edges, cut with a pizza wheel. Remove and reserve excess dough.
- Grab the opposite edges of the parchment paper and transfer to baking sheet. Bake 15-17 minutes or until pieces are firm and lightly browned on the edges. Cool completely before removing from pans.
- Once pieces are cool, you can start assembling your house using the Royal Icing and decorative cookies, candies, sprinkles, etc. Every gingerbread house is unique - use your imagination and have fun!
For the icing:
- Blend all the ingredients together in a mixer, scraping the sides as you go.
- This icing hardens and dries out quickly. As you decorate your house, take out the amount you will need and leave the remaining icing in a bowl covered with a wet dishcloth or plastic wrap.
- For helpful step by step instructions for assembling a gingerbread house click here.