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Posted to Thread #23355 at 8:51 am on Dec 3, 2012

[Sorry. I don't recall where I found this recipe back in 2009, other than that it's from the Internet. I've tried to annotate where I've added my own gobbledy-gook.]

[Marilyn's Note: While these ingredients are <i>edible</i>, I won't serve this to anyone I liked. It's used for contests when 100% of the entry must be made with food products. It will dry flat and hard and stay viable for at least 2 months. I've never tried saving one beyond that. Folks up north keep houses from year to year, but I just see that as an opportunity for sugar ants to take up residency in my attic.]

5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 TBL ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 TBL. warm water (possibly more)

Preheat oven to 325F degrees.

Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl, set aside. Whip shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add light corn syrup and molasses to sugar mixture, slowly, until thoroughly mixed.

Add warm water. You can add dry ingredients to mixer and knead with a dough hook, or transfer wet ingredients to large bowl of dry ingredients and knead for 10 minutes. Dough will be crumbly, but will hold together when pressed. Separate into 3 balls, flatten and wrap. Let rest for 1 hour. Although it is best when used te same day, the dough will keep for a week at room temperature or a month in the refrigerator.

Roll dough evenly onto a piece of tin foil (big enough to fit onto a cookie sheet) 1/4 inch thickness.

[Marilyn's Note: I roll it out between parchment paper (using either 3/8" or 1/4" wooden dowels) and then transfer the paper directly to the pan. Also, rather than starting with a "ball" of dough and rolling out a circle, <i>then</i> having to cut and patch wider areas for your house pattern, press your dough into a rectangular shape <i>before rolling</i> to avoid a lot of patching corners. I will stand the dough ball "on end" and split it in half, then butt them up against each other lengthwise and roll out a rectangular shape. Saves a lot of time. Unless, you know, you're making a round Native American kiva...then go for it.]

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Use pattern, cut, then peel up unused dough. Place foil on cookie sheet being careful not to disturb cut pieces and bake 25 min. Remove from oven and let cool on a flat surface.

[Marilyn's Note: As soon as you pull it out of the oven lay a tea towel on the baked dough, then nest another cookie sheet on top of the baked dough and gently press to ensure no air bubbles set.]

[Marilyn's Note: Makes 3 lbs of dough, which will make enough dough for a <i>6" high house</i> (rerolling ALL scraps) using 1/4" dowel. Another measurement would be it makes roughly three (3) "8x12" rectangles of dough. Drives me crazy when you find a recipe, but have NO clue if it will make enough for your pattern. Data, people. We need data! There is <i>nothing</i> quite so frustrating as getting 3/4 of the house rolled and cut and running out of dough. The final square area will depend on how thick you initially roll the dough. It can't be paper-thin or it won't stand upright for long, nor can it be too thick or it won't dry internally. Think has to be just right.

This cooling tray is 14X20" and I used the entire batch to determine how much square area of "baked dough" results.

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[Marilyn's Note: After it took 3 tries to get a roof on the Virgin GBH, I no longer make the roof out of baked gingerbread. Instead, I use foam core (Walmart has pre-scored foam in their stationary/office supply aisle for ~$3). Since I usually cover my roof with chocolate, it's less weight to deal with. And if I'm using foam core, I'll throw care to the wind and attach it using a hot glue gun. Note: This would NOT be allowed in a 100% food product contest. Also, you'll have more dough to make the four gingerbread walls higher since you won't be wasting dough on the roof.]

Jesus saves. Buddha recycles.

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