Download your free printable gingerbread house patterns.
2 cups vegetable shortening (no substitutes)
2 cups dark molasses
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
9-10 cups all-purpose flour
In a 5-quart pan, on low heat, heat sugar and shortening together with the molasses. Stir constantly, til sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat. Add baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Then stir in flour, a third at a time until dough firms up and form a ball. Lightly flour cutting board or counter. Turn dough onto floured surface. Knead until it is smooth. Dough should be moist and firm, and should not be crumbly. Add additional flour if dough is too moist. Form cookie dough in to log shape, slice in to five equal pieces. Wrap pieces separately in plastic.
Prepare your patterns made from cardboard or paper. Line cookie sheets with lightly greased foil. Working with one piece of dough at a time, with a very lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough directly on the foil lined cookie sheets, to about 15″ x 10″, 1/4″ thickness. Place gingerbread house patterns onto dough and slice around patterns using a knife. A pizza cutter can be used for this step, if available. Remove dough scraps from between patterns. Use scraps to fashion additional pieces if needed. Bake at 375F degrees for 10 – 15 minutes. Cookies should bounce back a but when touched with finger. Quickly, position patterns on each dough piece and trim off any excess. Allow cookies to cool on pan for several minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat above steps until you have enough pieces to complete your entire gingerbread house! Then decorate as you wish with loads of frosting and candy.