For Christmas last month I made two gingerbread houses. I now have a much greater appreciation for people who make gingerbread houses. It was a lot of work, but loads of fun too!
I have a few tips for myself to remember for next year; Don't be afraid to use plenty of flour when rolling out the dough, this way it will be easier to transfer the dough to a cookie sheet. I made my own template from the measurements given in the recipe. The best way to cut out the house is to roll out the dough, cut out the house panels, then transfer them to the cookie sheets. Bake. Right after pulling the gingerbread out of the oven place template back on gingerbread and re-cut panels. This is also the time to add windows and doors. Once all desired cuts are made, let gingerbread cool. If you want "glass windows", caramelize some sugar and carefully pour the liquid sugar into the window areas.
Here are a couple of pictures of one of the gingerbread houses I made. If you look closely, you can see the star windows...
The roof is made of an assortment of Chex.
The amazing fire was made by my talented little brother. He used orange Tootsie Rolls. Yes, he is rather brilliant!
The quickest way to assemble the house is through using caramelized sugar, but you have to work fast because the sugar will cool and harden quickly.
I had leftover dough when I was done making houses, so I made little gingerbread cookies and my little ones LOVED them!