For the Gingerbread Cookies
- 1/2 pound of unsalted butter (or 2 sticks), softened at room temp
- 1 1/4 cup brown sugar (tastes great using light or dark)
- Zest of 1/2 an orange
- 2 eggs, room temp
- 1 cup molasses
- 6 1/4 c all purpose flour (+ additional for rolling)
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground clove
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Batch of My Famous Royal Icing
Making the Dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Next add in the zest and combine with the butter mixture for 15-30 seconds.
- With the mixer on low speed, mix in 1 egg at a time, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition. Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds to ensure the eggs are completely incorporated.
- With the mixer back on low speed, drizzle in the molasses.
- Pause to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after all the molasses has been added. Mix again until incorporated.
- In a separate large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients; flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine.
- With the mixer on low speed, begin to add the dry ingredients in small amounts. When you see the wet mixture start to build up on the paddle, pause and scrape everything down using a spatula. This will help the mixture to combine evenly and avoid overworking the dough.
- Continue to add the flour mixture in batches, pausing to scrape the bowl along the way until all of it is combined. As soon as the last of the flour has absorbed, stop mixing.
- Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and bring it together into one large dough ball.
- Chill for 2 hours up to overnight (if chilling overnight, let sit for at least 1 hour before moving onto rolling).
Cutting the Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Prepare a surface with a dusting of flour.
- Take a portion of the dough and place onto the surface.
- Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness (I like to use the best rolling pin for this)
- Using your cut out templates or a mini gingerbread house cookie cutter, cut out the pieces.
- Remember, if using the templates, you'll need 2 of each piece (6 pieces total for 1 house).
- Place pieces onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for about 10 minutes until puffed and golden.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on the tray.
- Fully cool before moving onto assembling and decorating.
Assembling the Houses
- Once the cookies are completely cooled and the royal icing is made, you can get started building!
- I find having a portable surface to build on is helpful (i.e. a cookie sheet, plate), so when it comes to setting your houses aside to dry, you don't have to physically handle them too much (which can cause them to fall apart).
- Starting with front of the house, add a strip of icing onto each side.
- Then, while continuing to hold it, set it on the surface standing upright. Attach the side pieces one at a time.
- At this point, the house should stand up on it's own, but you still want to move quickly adding the backside of the house.
- Add icing to the ends of the sides to attach the back piece. Once that's on, it will be fully stabilized.
- Give it a gentle squeeze to ensure a tight bond.
- Lastly, add the roof pieces.
- Once the roof is secure, I like to add even more frosting to the middle seam for extra hold.
Decorate as desired and allow to dry for 2 hours or overnight before handling.
Recipe by Owlbbaking.com, adapted from New York Times Cooking
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Chill Time: 2 hrs
- Cook Time: 10 min
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: mini gingerbread houses, gingerbread house, christmas cookies, mug toppers, gingerbread village