Gingerbread Village

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup dark molasses
1/3 cup cold water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Gingerbread Frosting — (recipe below)
Assorted candies and nuts

Gingerbread Frosting Ingredients:

2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
5-6 teaspoons milk

Heat oven to 350º. Grease square pan, 9×9 inches, and jelly roll pan, 15 1/2×10 1/2. Beat brown sugar, shortening and molasses in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in water. Stir in remaining ingredients except Frosting and assorted candies. Press one third of dough into square pan. Press remaining dough into jelly roll pan. Bake 1 pan at a time about 15 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched in center. Cool 5 minutes. Invert onto large cutting surface. Immediately cut jelly roll into fourths and then into buildings as shown below. Cut square into braces as shown. Cool completely. Cover piece of cardboard, about 28 H 10 inches, with aluminum foil. Decorate front of buildings as desired with Frosting and assorted candies and nuts. Use frosting to attach supports to backs of buildings, buildings to cardboard and sidewalk to cardboard. Complete by decorating as desired.

Gingerbread Frosting Directions:

Mix all ingredients until smooth and spreadable.

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