Gingerbread House

Ginger was first introduced to European baking probably by the Crusaders, and used as a flavor and a preservative in cakes, pies and breads. It was traditional to bake gingerbread in shapes of people or elegant objects, and decorated.

John Wright Gingerbread House Accessories PlaqueGingerbread Houses are special holiday edible decorations, and can be used for many other occasions. Here are some ideas:
• All year round, use it for birthdays with your favorite color scheme, add candles and maybe a few miniature balls or balloons.
• For baby showers, a stork and some pink or blue icing with Mom and Dad Gingerbread People waiting on the lawn.
• For Valentine’s, decorate in red and white with lots of hearts and sweets.
• For March and old St. Patrick, a green and white theme.
• Rabbits and peeps go great with soft Easter colors, or make a chocolate house.
Memorial Day, use traditional red, white and blue, or again use soft spring colors.
• For June it can be a wedding house all in white with a bride and groom, or a graduation theme with school colors.
July 4th, red, white and blue go well with a picnic theme.
• October is for a Halloween house, with pumpkins and fall candy corn.
• November and Thanksgiving can have brown, orange and white, with pilgrims and turkeys.

Tips on assembling Gingerbread House from Iron Molds:
• It is better to bake gingerbread a day ahead of assembling, to allow for proper stiffening.
• Let gingerbread cool in the mold.
• Before decorating, let everything harden for about 20 minutes or more.
• Use Royal Icing as a glue, waiting a few minutes for the icing to harden after application. When dry, it will have the consistency of hard candy.
• For extra strength, run a thick ribbon of icing along all the joints on the inside of the house.
• Add only gel or paste food coloring to the icing – do not use water-based food color.
• Royal Icing becomes hard and can be used for both gluing and decorating. Buttercream Icing remains soft and should only be used for decorating.

The molds are two-sided.
First you bake on one side, then turn the mold over, fill the cavities, and bake that side.


 

John Wright Gingerbread House Cast Iron Mold

120685 John Wright Gingerbread House Cast Iron Mold
120685 John Wright Gingerbread House Cast Iron Mold
John Wright Gingerbread House Cast Iron Mold

Recipe for Gingerbread House:
½ cup shortening
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark molasses
2 tablespoons cold water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt

• Cream together shortening, sugar, molasses and water.
• Sift together flour, spices and salt.
• Add dry ingredients to shortening mixture and mix well.
• Dough will be stiff.
• Chill at least 1 hour.
• Grease or spray mold with vegetable spray, then press dough into the mold.
• Bake in pre-heated 350°F oven for 25 minutes.
• Let gingerbread cool in the mold for 10 minutes, then carefully remove each piece onto a cooling rack, flat side down.
• Assemble and decorate.

Royal Icing “Glue”:
3 egg whites at room temperature
¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 lb 10X confectioners sugar, sifted

• Combine in a mixing bowl and mix on high speed for 7 to 10 minutes.
• Beat until very stiff – you can’t over-beat.
• Store at room temperature.

Making a Chocolate Candy House:
1 ½ lbs confectionery coating

• Place un-greased mold in refrigerator one hour or more to chill.
• Do not grease or condition the mold in any way.
• Break coating chocolate into 1-inch pieces.
• Place in 1 qt glass measuring cup or microwave safe bowl and microwave at 50% power (medium) for 5 to 7 minutes, or until pieces are glossy and can be stirred smooth.
• Stir after half the time.
• (Can also melt chocolate over low heat or in double boiler.)
• Pour coating into chilled mold and refrigerate until hard, about 15 minutes.
• Carefully remove from mold.
• If needed, re-melt remaining coating (1 minute at 50% power) and pour into mold, chilling 15 minutes before removing.
• Assemble and decorate.
Note: Never add water to confectionery coating; be sure utensils and molds are dry before placing confectionery coating in them.


 

John Wright Chateau Gingerbread House Cast Iron Mold

120686 John Wright Gingerbread Chateau Cast Iron Mold 120686 John Wright Gingerbread Chateau Cast Iron Mold
John Wright Gingerbread Chateau Cast Iron Mold

Gingerbread Chateau Recipe:
1 1/2 cups shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups dark molasses
12 1/2 tablespoons cold water
9 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

• Cream together shortening, sugar, molasses, and water.
• Sift together flour, spices and salt.
• Add dry ingredients to shortening mixture and mix well.
• Dough will be stiff.
• If dough is still crumbly, add a tablespoon of water.
• Chill at least 1 hour.
• Using a pastry brush and solid shortening, grease mold.
• Press dough into the mold.
• Bake in pre-heated 350°F oven for approximately 45 minutes or until golden brown and hard to the touch.
• Let gingerbread cool in mold for 10 minutes.
• Carefully remove each piece of gingerbread to cooling rack, flat side down.
• Repeat with other side.
• It is better to bake gingerbread a day ahead of assembling to allow for hardening.
• Assemble and decorate.

Royal Icing for Gingerbread Chateau:
This sweet icing will be used like a “glue” to hold the house together and to decorate.

6 egg whites at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
2 pounds confectioners sugar, sifted

• Combine in mixing bowl and mix on high speed 7 to 10 minutes.
• Beat until very stiff – you can’t overbeat.
• Store at room temperature, in a covered container.

Chocolate Candy Chateau:
3 1/2 pounds (52 oz.) confectionery coating chocolate

• Place ungreased mold in refrigerator one hour or more to chill.
• Do not grease or condition the mold.
• Break coating chocolate in 1-inch pieces.
• Place in 1 quart glass measuring cup or microwave safe bowl.
• Microwave at 50% power (medium) 5 to 7 minutes, or until pieces are glossy and can be stirred smooth.
• (You can also melt chocolate over low heat or in a double boiler.)
• Stir after half the time.
• Pour chocolate into chilled mold and refrigerate until hard, about 15 minutes.
• Carefully remove from mold.
• If needed, re-melt remaining chocolate (1 minute on 50% power), and pour remaining roof, side, front and chimney.
• Chill 15 minutes in mold and remove.
• Assemble and decorate.
Note: Never add water to chocolate coating. Be careful when using a double boiler not to get water in the chocolate.

Easy to Assemble:

gingerbread-chateau-pieces

gingerbread house assembly• Take one front/back piece and one side piece.
• Be sure the decorative side is facing out.
• Put a ribbon of icing on the edge of the front piece.
• Slowly “squeeze” the side piece into the icing on the front piece forming an “L”.
• Hold for a few minutes until the icing “bonds”.
• Now do the same thing with the back piece and the other side.

gingerbread-3• Take your two “L” shaped walls and apply a ribbon of icing on the remaining ends of both side pieces.
• Slowly “squeeze” the “L” shaped walls together to form a 4-wall foundation.
• Hold for a few minutes until the icing hardens.
• For extra strength, run a thick ribbon of icing along all the joints on the inside of the house.

gingerbread-4• Next, squeeze a ribbon of icing around the top perimeter of the house.
• Place roof pieces, one side at a time, making contact with each side and gently “squeeze” into the icing creating a bond with the four foundation walls.
• Run a thick strip of icing down the center of the roof where the two pieces meet.

gingerbread-chateau-01• Squeeze a ribbon of icing around dormers and place at center peak of the house, front and back.
• Gently squeeze into the icing making a bond.
• Run a thick ribbon of icing around edges and back through center of dormers.

Chimney:
• Apply a ribbon of icing and glue large piece of chimney to small piece making sure top is even.
• Glue with icing to side of house where chimney is outlined.

• Let everything harden and decorate.


 

John Wright Gingerbread House Accessories Cast Iron Mold

John Wright Gingerbread House Accessories Plaque 120687 John Wright Gingerbread House Accessories Plaque
John Wright Gingerbread House Accessories Plaque

Gingerbread Accessories Recipe:
3/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark molasses
3 tablespoons cold water
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt

• Cream together shortening, sugar, molasses, and water.
• Sift together flour, spice and salt.
• Add dry ingredients to shortening mixture and mix well.
• Dough will be stiff.
• If dough is still crumbly, add a tablespoon of water.
• Chill at least 1 hour.
• Using a pastry brush and solid shortening, grease the mold.
• Press dough into the mold.
• Bake in a pre-heated 350°F oven for approximately 45 minutes or until golden brown and hard to the touch.
• Let gingerbread cool in mold for 10 minutes.
• Carefully remove each piece of gingerbread to cooling rack, flat side down.
• Repeat with both sides until all accessories are baked.
• It is better to bake gingerbread a day ahead of assembling to allow for hardening.
• Assemble and decorate.

Accessories Needed:
2 tower fronts
2 tower backs
4 tower roof panels
1 gate
1 caroler with 2 props
1 sleigh with 3 props
2 walkways
4 sheep

Royal Icing “Glue” for Accessories:
3 egg whites at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 pound confectioners sugar, sifted

• Combine in mixing bowl and mix on high speed 7 to 10 minutes.
• Beat until very stiff – you can’t over-beat.
• Store at room temperature, in a covered container.

Chocolate Candy for Accessories:
2 pounds (32 oz.) confectionery coating chocolate

• Place un-greased mold in refrigerator one hour or more to chill.
• Do not grease or condition the mold.
• Break coating chocolate in 1-inch pieces.
• Place in 1 quart glass measuring cup or microwave safe bowl.
• Microwave at 50% power (medium) 5 to 7 minutes, or until pieces are glossy and can be stirred smooth.
• (You can also melt chocolate over low heat or in a double boiler.)
• Stir after half the time.
• Pour chocolate into chilled mold and refrigerate until hard, about 15 minutes.
• Carefully remove from mold.
• If needed, re-melt remaining chocolate (1 minute on 50% power), and pour remaining roof, side, front and chimney.
• Chill 15 minutes in mold and remove.
• Assemble and decorate.
Note: Never add water to chocolate coating. Be careful when using a double boiler not to get water in the chocolate.

Easy to Assemble:

gingerbread-acc-1

gingerbread-acc-2• Take one front/back piece and one side piece.
• Be sure the decorative side is facing out.
• Put a ribbon of icing on the edge of the front piece.
• Slowly “squeeze” the side piece into the icing on the front piece forming al “L”.
• Hold for a few minutes until icing “bonds”.
• Now do the same thing with the back piece and the other side.

gingerbread-acc-3• Take your two “L” shaped walls of the clock tower and apply a ribbon of icing on the remaining ends of both side pieces.
• Slowly “squeeze” the “L” shaped walls together to form a 4-wall foundation.
• Hold for a few minutes until the icing hardens.
• For extra strength, run a thick ribbon of icing along all the joints on the inside of the tower.

gingerbread-acc-4• Next, squeeze a ribbon of icing around the top perimeter of the tower.
• Place roof pieces together with icing and let dry.
• Run a ribbon of icing around top of tower and gently “squeeze” roof into the icing creating a bond with the four foundation walls.

gingerbread-acc-5• Squeeze a ribbon of icing on the back of trees and gently press props onto back of trees making a bond.
• Sheep can be glued into a mound of icing.
• Attach gate to clock tower with icing glue.
• Stone walks can be placed in front of gate and clock tower.

gingerbread-acc-6 gingerbread-acc-7

• Let everything harden at least 20 minutes and decorate.


 

~ CARE INSTRUCTIONS ~
We recommend lightly greasing your pan before each use with solid or spray shortenings.
Use only wood or plastic utensils for handling.
To clean:
Fill to 1/3 depth with warm, soapy water.
Allow to soak for about 1/2 hour.
Pour out soapy water, rinse well, wipe dry with toweling or soft cloth.
Under no circumstances should abrasives, steel wool, or other coarse materials be used.
DO NOT PUT IN DISHWASHER!

John Wright Cast Iron Gingerbread House Molds
Made in USA
John Wright Company – Wrightsville, PA

Instructions and recipes by the John Wright Company


 

Making Gingerbread for Construction or Eating

Here’s another great tasting recipe also used for constructing Gingerbread Houses. It will yield enough dough for an average (approx. 12″ x 12″) building.

For a crisper texture in damp weather, omit the salt.

If cutting patterns by hand or with cookie cutters, roll dough onto a cookie sheet first. Leave cut patterns in place and remove extra dough. This prevents stretching of cut patterns that would occur if you were transferring them from one surface to another.

If using a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides), roll dough on the flat upside-down side. Use a dish towel to keep pan from sliding around.

Chill the dough thoroughly before baking, whether you’re cutting patterns or placing the dough into a mold. This helps the dough to keep its original shape and size.

5½ cups all purpose flour (approximate)
2 tsp cinnamon
1½ tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves
1½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup solid vegetable shortening, such as Crisco
1 cup granulated sugar
1¼ cup molasses
2 eggs

1. Mix 5 cups flour, spice, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. Cream butter, shortening, and sugar in a large bowl of a sturdy mixer (such as KitchenAid). Add molasses and lightly beaten eggs. Blend well. Gradually add dry ingredients.

3. Turn mixture onto lightly floured surface and knead in remaining flour, if necessary. Dough should be firm and smooth. Allow dough to rest about 1 hour for best rolling results. Dough may be chilled ¼ to ½ hour before rolling, if time is a factor.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Pam or Baker’s Joy may be used. Roll out dough directly onto your cookie sheets.

5. Baking time will vary according to the thickness of the rolled dough. For thinly rolled smaller pieces, bake 5-8 minutes. Be sure to watch dough as the baking time nears an end to avoid burning or over-browning.

6. Cool cookies on wire racks. Dry pieces overnight on a flat surface covered with paper towels.

7. Leftover dough may be well-wrapped in plastic and will keep well in the refrigerator for weeks. Bring to room temperature before rolling.


History of gingerbread: wwwiz.com/issue04/wiz_d04.html


How to Order Gingerbread Molds