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Gingerbread houses are a delightful way to add festive holiday cheer to your home, but what about a gingerbread house for your warm cup of hot cocoa? These adorable miniature gingerbread houses fit right on the edge of your mug for a sweet touch of fun!

Ingredients: For the dough

Ingredients: For the royal icing

Prepare the dough

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Mix together the shortening and white and brown sugars in a stand mixer, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until fluffy. Add in the molasses, salt, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon, and mix completely, then incorporate the flour one cup at a time.
  3. Stop mixing once the flour is incorporated. The dough should be very stiff.
  4. Roll dough to a generous ⅛-inch thickness directly on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Trace around paper stencils to cut out the walls and roof of each gingerbread house. Lift away the excess dough on the cookie sheet with a spatula or knife. Be sure to leave some space between the pieces for dough to expand.
  5. Bake for 10–14 minutes. Slightly over-baked (short of burning) is better than slightly under-baked.
  6. Let the pieces cool completely before assembly—even overnight.

Prepare the icing

  1. Pour egg whites into a very clean mixing bowl, free from all traces of grease. Add in the cream of tartar, sugar, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for 10–15 minutes, until the icing is stiff.
  2. To prevent crusting over, keep the bowl covered with a wet cloth at all times. When ready to assemble your gingerbread houses, place the icing in a piping bag and use as glue to hold pieces together.

Note: Be sure all utensils used to mix and store royal icing are free from any traces of grease. This is critical, as even the smallest trace of fat means that the icing will not set.

Give this homemade gingerbread house recipe a try, and let us know what you think! Share photos of the finished product on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #ALMbites.

Don’t forget to download the printable gingerbread house templates to trace out your pieces.