Want The Perfect Gingerbread House? Let This Architect Help

Dec 10, 2020

Melissa Eichman

All gingerbread houses are perfect in their own way, the goal of the gingerbread house is smile and you can never use too much frosting!

Jonathan Moore, President of InVision Advisors, is taking his experience working on billion-dollar buildings and scaling things down to the size of gingerbread houses this holiday season.

Moore created a replica of the Tampa Museum of Art in gingerbread and gumdrops. Now he’s helping family and friends celebrate near or far by building together, with help from an expert.

He reminds of a few things before getting started: all gingerbread houses are perfect in their own way, the goal of the gingerbread house is smile and you can never use too much frosting.

Gingerbread

6 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

4 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons table salt (not kosher)

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 1/2 cups solid Crisco shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

3/4 cup molasses

Makes one large Gingerbread House or 2 small houses

Start with two separate mixes - dry and wet

Dry Ingredients:

Combine Flour, Ginger, Cinnamon, Cardamom - sift into medium bowl to remove any lumps

Set aside

Wet ingredients:

Put shortening into bowl and use hand held electric mixer until smooth and fluffy (about 60-90 seconds)

Add sugar and use electric mixer to blend.

Crack egg into mixture and use electric mixer to blend. Crack / Mix eggs ONE AT A TIME

Add molasses and use electric mixer until wet mix is fully smooth. Use rubber scraper on sides to make sure all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients two cups at a time. Each time use electric mixer to blend thoroughly. Mix will get sticky and eventually clumpy, keep mixing.

Once the mixture is a “uniform clumpiness”, turn off electric blender.

Time to get dirty:

Spread a bit of flour on the countertop and dump mixture onto countertop. Use your hands and clump into a big blob…then separate the blob into three blobs.

Time to knead!

Use the palm of your hand to press down on the mixture. Do this twice then fold the mixture over, turn and do it again….repeat for 2-3 minutes until the consistency is uniform and dough-like.

Repeat this another 2 times.

Once finished. you will have about 4 baking sheets worth of dough.

Divide dough into 4 sections and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for min of 3 hours.

Once chilled, roll onto non-stick baking sheet - about the thickness of 1/2 of your smartphone, knowing it will thicken as you cook.

Cut the shapes before you cook and try to separate the cuts a bit (its OK if you can’t).

Cook for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. You should start to see darkening around the edges. If you don’t, cook another 2 minutes.

When you remove from the oven, go over the cut lines while still hot to make sure all parts are separated. Cool on pan until solid then move to cooling rack.

Wait at least 30 minutes before using so you don’t soften the frosting with warm gingerbread!

Standard Tools:

Pastry cutter

Pastry scraper

Silicon spatula

Frosting bag and tips

Rolling Pin

Food coloring

Unique Tools:

Metal ruler

Cutting mat

Floral Foam for base

Xacto Blade

Sandpaper

Hacksaw blade

Dremel for the tough cuts"