Gingerbread Recipe:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup melted margarine
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Mix in the melted margarine, evaporated milk, molasses, vanilla, and lemon extracts. Stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. The dough should be stiff enough to handle without sticking to fingers. If necessary, increase flour by up to 1/2 cup to prevent sticking.
  3. When the dough is smooth, roll it out to 1/4 inch thick on a floured surface, and cut into cookies. Place cookies on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. The cookies are done when the top springs back when touched. Remove from cookie sheets by lifting the parchment paper and set on counter to cool.

Royal Icing Recipe:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  1. Beat egg whites in clean, large bowl with mixer at high speed until it forms loose peaks. Add lemon juice. Gradually add sugar then beat at high speed until thickened.
  2. Scoop into decorating bags. Over the years, we have found that everyone seems to love just the plain old round tip. However, it doesn’t hurt to have a star tip too. I like to use the disposable bags, which work well if you just cut the tip off. This way each kid can have their own bag. You can also use ziplock bags.

Sugar-glass Windows Recipe:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. (It will boil up a little, so a bigger pan is better.) Stir on high heat until it reaches hard ball stage. (Use a candy thermometer or drop a little of mixture into a glass of ice-cold water. When it makes a hard ball and brittle strings in the water it is ready.)
  2. While the sugar mixture is cooking, make a couple of trays out of tinfoil by folding up the edges and pinching the corners together.
  3. Pour the mixture into the trays. Working quickly, drop food coloring around the mixture and use a toothpick to swirl it around. Speed is key as it will harden quickly.
  4. Let sit until completely cooled. Then cut with a knife or drop on the counter lightly to break into pieces.
  5. To apply to your houses, turn the cookie over and trace the window opening with icing. Then place your piece of “glass” over it.
  6. Turn cookie over and decorate with candy.