Haunted Halloween House Recipe

Classic Gingerbread Cutouts - These cookies are so versatile! They are delicious, naturally low-fat, and even make terrific Christmas ornaments that keep for years. Royal Icing is best for decoration. CAUTION: These cookies have a way of disappearing.

Prep Time: 30 Minutes | Cook Time: 12 Minutes Ready In: 1 Hour | Yield: 3 Dozen

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the molasses and eggs. Combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, nbaking soda, salt, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger; beat into the molasses mixture. Gradually stir in the remaining flour by hand to form a stiff dough.

Divide dough into 2 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Place pieces 1 inch apart onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely

In a medium bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar and cream of tartar. Blend in egg whites. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat for about 5 minutes, or until mixture is thick and stiff. Keep covered with a moist cloth and plastic wrap until ready to decorate.

Tools and Materials
Gingerbread dough
Rolling pin
House template
Cookie sheets
Parchment paper, aluminum foil, or brown paper
Cooling rack
House base – foam core, sturdy cardboard, cookie sheet, etc.
Royal icing
Food coloring
Pastry bags and tips or small resealable plastic bags
Small spatulas and spreaders. Butter knives would work.
Assorted candy, cookies, and Halloween decorations
Tweezers and toothpicks (optional)

Haunted Halloween House Recipe
Assembly Prepare dough, cut out shapes, bake, and cool pieces. Make and tint royal icing. Cover with damp cloths. We made batches of orange and brown. Cover house base with parchment paper, foil, or brown paper. Attach walls to front and back of house and let dry until icing is hard. Attach house to base. Attach roof and let dry until icing is hard. Decorate as desired. We baked gingerbread tombstones, outlined windows with black licorice, used candy corn for roof shingles, made dead topiaries out of licorice drops and toothpicks, and let marshmallow ghosts haunt a candy pumpkin patch. Coco-flavored crisp rice cereal paves our path and a ready-made cake decoration lurks over the doorway. We crushed chocolate cookies for dirt and scattered tiny leaf-shaped sprinkles over the whole scene. You can afford to get a little
carried away here and your technique doesn’t have to be perfect.

Construction Tips:
• Turn this into a party activity: attach the walls and roof ahead of time and let guests do the decorating. Set out bowls of Halloween candies, icing and decorating hardware such as small spatulas, toothpicks, etc. Spoon icing into resealable plastic bags, snipping a small hole in a bottom corner for squeezing it out. Have plenty of paper towels on hand!

• If you use a kit or graham crackers, we recommend you still make a batch of sturdy royal icing for “glue.” Keep bowls of tinted icing covered with clean, damp cloths to prevent icing from drying out.

• Are you planning to eat the house? Use pasteurized dried egg whites or meringue powder instead of raw egg whites to make royal icing. Follow package directions.

• Icing should be fairly stiff. Add more egg whites if the icing is too dry or more powdered sugar if it is too wet. (If you’re using meringue powder, add more powder if your icing is too loose.)

Step by Step:
1. Attach walls to front and back of house and let dry before attaching roof. Dry house thoroughly before adding details.

2. Most of our decorations came from the grocery store.

3 . Candy corn is pressed into icing for colorful roof shingles

4. We outlined windows with black licorice and used a toothpick to scrape chocolate icing into a wood pattern on the front door.

5. Use icing to glue fun details all over the house. It’s okay to be messy.

6. This skeleton is a plastic sticker from a card store.

7. Up next: landscaping. Spread frosting and start planting pumpkins.

8. Our pumpkin patch features black licorice cats, crushed cookie dirt, and leaf-shaped sprinkles.
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