Contributed by: Emily Reinson
What you need: 1 cup brown sugar (dark); 1-3/4 cups corn syrup (light); 8 cups un-sifted flour; 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon; 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 3/4 cup margarine; Icing (recipe below); Variety of candies for decorating.
What to do:
1. Stir together cinnamon, ginger, flour and salt in a large bowl.
2. In 2 quart saucepan, stirring occasionally, heat corn syrup, brown sugar and margarine over medium heat until margarine is melted.
3. Stir into flour mixture until well blended. On waxed paper, form dough into oblong shape; cut into three equal parts. Do not refrigerate dough before rolling it out.
Prepare icing just before decorating pieces. In large bowl with mixer at low speed, beat 1 pound confectioner's sugar, 3 egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar until blended. Beat at high speed, scraping sides frequently, 7 to 10 minutes or until knife drawn through mixture leaves a path. Keep covered with damp cloth at all times.
Pattern Pieces: On lightweight cardboard, draw house pattern pieces. Place on board or several layers of newspaper and, using a ruler and mat knife, or single-edged razor blade in holder, cut out pattern pieces.
To Cut and pieces:
Line three 15-1/2 x 12 inch cookie sheets with foil, wrapping foil under edges. Place one-third of dough on each cookie sheet. (Place damp cloth under cookie sheets to prevent sliding.) Roll out each piece of dough to 14-1/2 x 11-1/2 inch rectangle. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Dust pattern pieces lightly with flour. Remove one cookie sheet of dough from refrigerator. Arrange pattern pieces for back, front and door on dough, leaving 1/2 inch between each piece. With sharp, pointed paring knife, using a ruler edge as a guide, carefully cut out each piece. Carefully remove patterns after cutting. Remove all excess dough and wrap in plastic wrap; set aside. Bake in 350ï¿½ F oven 15 to 20 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool completely before removing from foil. Remove second cookie sheet of dough from refrigerator. Cut 4 pieces 7 x 10", 2 for sides and 2 for roof. Arrange pattern pieces for one side of cottage and one roof piece on dough, leaving 1/2 inch between each piece. Carefully cut out each piece. Remove patterns and excess dough, saving dough as before. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool completely before removing from foil. Remove remaining cookie sheet of dough from refrigerator. Arrange patterns for second side of house, second roof piece, and shutters (cut 6) on dough, leaving 1/2 inch between each piece. Carefully cut out pieces. Remove patterns and excess dough. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool completely before removing from foil.
Extra Cookies: Re-roll extra dough on lightly floured surface to 1/16 inch thickness. Cut out cookies in desired shapes. Bake in 3500 F oven 5 to 8 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack.
To Decorate: Before assembling, decorate front, back, sides, shutters and door with candy, using icing to attach candies. Using plain icing tip and plastic bag, trim with icing. (Roof is decorated after house is assembled.) Attach shutters to both sides of all 3 windows by placing small amount of icing on undecorated side of shutter and position. Allow to dry completely.
Assemble House: Cover 13 x 13 inch heavy cardboard with foil. In center, draw 10 x 10 inch square to serve as guideline for base of house. Set aside. On back piece of house, spread icing along edge of one side and along bottom edge. On one side piece of house spread icing along inside edge of one side and bottom edge. Following pre-drawn guidelines, carefully stand back and side wall pieces on cardboard base, placing edge of back wall against inside edge of side wall. Spread extra icing on inside seams for extra strength. Back and side should stand alone. On other side piece of house, spread icing on inside edge of side that will form seam with back wall and bottom edge. Spread icing on edge of remaining side of back piece of house. Attach side piece to back and base following pre-drawn guidelines. Spread extra icing on inside seams. On front piece of house, spread icing on edges of both sides and along bottom edge. Spread icing on inside edges of sides of side walls. Attach front piece to sides. Spread extra icing on inside seams. Let set about 5 minutes. To attach roof, spread icing along top edges of front wall and front half of side walls. Place one roof piece on front of house; hold or prop in place about 7 minutes or until set. On roof pieces, spread icing along seam edges where roof pieces will meet. Spread icing along top edges of back wall and side walls. Place remaining roof section on back of house so that roof pieces meet to form peak; hold or prop in place about 7 minutes or until set. Use icing to fill in any spaces along peak of roof. Decorate roof with candies as shown. Spread icing on back of door and attach to front of house.