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Learn how to make extravagant gingerbread houses at home

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Gingerbread baker and designer Jacinda Britton shows us how to make beautiful gingerbread houses in your own kitchen. Lori Edmunds tells us about the South Jordan Gingerbread House Contest. The contest runs from November 17 - December 3. All entries must be delivered to Gale Center by November 17th. Judging begins at 4:00pm. Awards given for 1st and 2nd place. You can get more information here.

Gingerbread Dough for Houses:

5 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. molasses
2 eggs, beaten
In saucepan, melt shortening on stove over low heat. While shortening is melting, in another bowl stir together flour, salt and spices. When shortening is partially melted, remove from heat and stir to melt completely. Add sugar, molasses and beaten eggs. Mix well and quickly so eggs won't cook. Add molasses mixture to flour mixture and mix well. Dough will be soft. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm enough to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I like to roll dough onto aluminum foil. To prevent foil from slipping, wipe counter with wet sponge then smooth foil over damp counter. This keeps foil from slipping when rolling out dough. Work with small amounts of dough, about baseball size. Sprinkle dough with flour and roll out dough. Roll dough about 1/8 inch thick, place house pattern pieces on cut dough. Leave your pieces on the foil and simple lift the foil and place it on a cookie sheet and bake. When piece is done baking and cooling you can easily remove the foil.
Royal Icing:

3 T. meringue powder
4 c. powdered sugar
6 T. warm water

Make sure all utensils and mixing bowls are grease free. Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
Marshmallow Fondant
1 16oz. bag of miniature marshmallows
3-4 tablespoons of water
2 lbs. powdered sugar (8 cups)

Place marshmallows in a microwave safe bowl and add water. Put in the microwave for about 30 seconds on high. Take out and stir with a spoon. Repeat microwave and stirring step until mixture is a 'soupy' consistency. Then add the sugar a little bit at a time, mix and knead until it resembles dough. You may not need all of the powdered sugar.
Sometimes I substitute some of the water with extract to flavor the fondant. Ex. 1 T. water and 1 T. extract.
Smaller Recipe
1 cup packed mini marshmallows
1 Tbsp water
1 ½- 1 ¾ cups powder sugar
(Follow same steps as above)