Necco Wafer Gingerbread House (From New England)

Recipe by Nana Lee
READY IN: 10mins
YIELD: 1 House




  • NOTE:
  • I think the success of making this without going "bonkers", is to measure out all ingredients BEFORE you even begin.
  • It is also suggested that you plan on making this in 4 steps, each on a different day.
  • Day 1 would be to read all directions and suggestions carefully, and buy or make sure you have all ingredients and necessary equipment.
  • Day 2 would be the baking of the gingerbread pieces.
  • Day 3 plan on putting the house together.
  • Day 4 plan on making the icing and do the actual decorating of the house.
  • This dough bakes into a firm, sturdy cookie, making it appropriate for gingerbread houses, large cookies or ornaments. This recipe makes enough dough for one house plus accessories.
  • DOUGH:
  • In a large bowl, thoroughly blend sugar and shortening.
  • Add molasses, egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  • In another bowl, sift dry ingredients.
  • Gradually stir dry ingredients into molasses mixture.
  • When mixture becomes too stiff to stir with spoon, work dough with hands until completely blended.
  • Separate dough into 4 balls.
  • Wrap each in plastic wrap and chill a minimum of one hour.
  • Dough can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.
  • Preheat oven at 325ºF.
  • You may build your house in stages over a few days or a few weeks time.
  • Bake pieces one day, attach pieces for construction at another time, and add decorations even later.
  • Place a disk of chilled dough directly on aluminum foil cut to fit your baking sheet.
  • Cover dough with plastic wrap and roll to 1/4" thickness.
  • For gingerbread house dimensions, cut patterns from waxed or parchment paper that include 2 pieces of the following: side walls which are 7" wide and 4" high, end walls which are pointed are 5 1/2" wide and 8" high at the point, roof panels which are 8 1/2" wide and 6" high.
  • Remove plastic wrap, place pattern pieces for house (which you have cut from waxed or parchment paper), directly on dough, leaving at least 1/2" border around pieces.
  • Using a small sharp knife, cut around edges of pattern.
  • Using your fingers or a small knife, remove scrap pieces of dough, leaving cut pieces intact on foil.
  • Cut out doors and windows.
  • Remove paper pattern pieces and place foil directly on a flat baking sheet.
  • Bake 10-25 minutes, depending on size of pieces.
  • Gingerbread will darken, especially around edges, and feel firm to the touch.
  • Remove sheet from oven and allow pieces to cool on sheet.
  • Gently peel gingerbread from foil.
  • You may store pieces lying flat in a cool dry place or freeze in an appropriate container.
  • When ready to construct the house, spread icing directly on a strong piece of cardboard, plywood, or a flat unbreakable tray to cover area where house will be built.
  • Spread or pipe icing on edges of each piece which will attach to one another.
  • Press pieces firmly together and hold to form neat angles.
  • You may release your hold when pieces are self-standing. (This should only take a minute or two.)
  • Allow sections of the house to dry before applying the roof or candy decorations.
  • When house is thoroughly dry, you may begin attaching candy, cookies, nuts, etc., to the house or "grounds" using the icing as glue.
  • Store house in a cool dry place for up to four weeks.
  • ICING:
  • The icing is used as "cement" to put the house together, attach decorations, and make icicles and decorative trim.
  • You will need 2-3 batches to complete one house.
  • Make each batch separately.
  • Any fat substance will inhibit the whites from beating so separate the yolks carefully and keep all utensils grease-free.
  • Place egg whites in bowl. Add cream of tartar.
  • Sift sugar directly onto egg whites.
  • Beat 4 minutes with electric mixer on high speed.
  • The mixture will thicken as you beat it and when finished should be the consistency of mashed potatoes.
  • Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over icing while using to prevent air from drying it.
  • If storing for use at another time, store icing in an airtight plastic container in the refrigerator.
  • If icing becomes too firm, simply beat a little water into it.
  • Select candy according to size and desired color.
  • NECCO Wafers are ideal for the roof.
  • In addition, NECCO Gummy Bears, Cherry Coins, Candy Buttons, Haviland Chocolate Covered Raisins, Peanuts, Malted Milk Balls and Nonpareils are perfectly suited for gingerbread decoration.
  • Spread additional icing around house to cover board.
  • Complete your house with inverted ice cream cone trees (iced & decorated), Sky Bars for sleds, NECCO Chocolate Marshmallow Santas, Mary Jane Holiday Kisses, and Haviland Thin Mints.