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Good dough is key to a strong gingerbread house

Associated Press
This recipe should be enough for a standard gingerbread house. It’s stronger than cookie dough, so your house will hold together better. It’s also less likely to change shape and size while baking. Best yet, it’s entirely edible.
The dough can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for a month. If possible, bake the gingerbread a day before you intend to construct your house to give it time to cool and harden.Gingerbread House Dough
Start to finish: 2 hours
Makes enough for 1 house6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 C. vegetable shortening
1 1/4 C. powdered sugar
1 1/4 C. packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 C. molasses
1/2 C. plus 1 to 4 Tbsp. water
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on low to beat together the shortening, powdered sugar, dark brown sugar and molasses until just smooth.
Add the flour mixture all at once. Mix on low to medium-low speed. When the dough looks crumbly, add 1/2 cup water. If the dough feels dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough should be firm, but evenly moist.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a solid ball. Place the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.
Place the rolled out dough, still between the sheets of parchment, on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until firm. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove dough from the refrigerator, remove the top sheet of parchment paper and cut the dough as desired. Remove the excess dough scraps, then bake until golden brown. Plan for about 7 to 10 minutes for small pieces, and 10 to 15 minutes for large ones.(Recipe adapted from Christina Banner’s “How to Build a Gingerbread House,” Penny Publishing, 2008)

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