About the Recipe
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ingredient 1: Unsalted butter- 1 pound (454 grams ) room temperature
ingredient 2: Dark brown sugar- 2 ½ cups plus 3 tablespoons (595 grams )
ingredient 3: All-purpose flour- 12 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons (1,648 grams) , plus more for dusting
ingredient 4: Ground Ginger-2 heaping tablespoons (15 grams )
ingredient 5: Ground Cinnamon- 2 heaping tablespoons (15 grams )
ingredient 6: Baking Soda1- ½ teaspoons
ingredient 7: Baking Powder- ½ teaspoon
ingredient 8: Kosher Salt- ½ teaspoon
ingredient 9: Eggs- 4 , at room temperature
ingredient 10: Molasses - 2 cups
ingredient 11: Zest of 2 oranges
ingredient 12: Zest of 2 lemons
Make the dough in 2 batches .
For half of the batch , in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together half the butter and half the sugar for 5 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape down sides.
Meanwhile, sift together the dry ingredients — the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt — and set aside half.
With mixer running at low speed, add two eggs, one at a time. Mix in 1 cup molasses. Scrape down bowl.
In 3 batches, add half the dry ingredients, mixing just to combine. To prevent any flour from flying out, make sure the mixer is off when adding each batch, and drape a towel over it when mixing.
Mix in zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange and mix.
Pull dough out of mixing bowl and knead . Wrap in plastic wrap, or transfer to a resealable plastic bag. Repeat Steps 1 to 5 to make the remaining dough. Refrigerate overnight.
When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees F or 180 Celcius .
Roll out dough. For each square, weigh out about 20 ounces (567gm) of dough using a measuring scale. The goal is to end up with five 9-inch squares, so you’ll roll them out a bit larger, bake them and trim off the edges.
Lightly dust a large piece of parchment paper with flour. Place the chilled dough on top. Roll side to side and up and down to make a rough square shape that remains even through out its length & breadth. Roll until dough is about 10 by 10 inches and a generous 1/4-inch thick.
Use Cookie Cutters / Templates to cut the Construction Panels into desired shape. You may use a scissor to cut out the cookie dough shapes along with the baking paper. Pull off the extra dough around the designs & lift each panel & transfer it to a baking sheet.
Expert Tip: For perfectly cut walls , roll the dough & score the exact outline of the wall . Leave a small (2cm) border around the scores edges. Bake and when ready, cut through the soft gingerbread along the scored lines with a sharp knife before it hardens. Don’t wait until the gingerbread is hard as it will crack easily. Doing this method is better than cutting the dough to the exact template as you will prevent the edges from spreading.
Repeat process with remaining dough. Any dough left after the designs have been prepared can be rolled out 1/4-inch thick and used for cookies.
In the oven, the slab will rise to about 3/8- or 1/2-inch thickness, which will make the house extra sturdy.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until even and firmly set. Place pans on wire racks to cool. To prevent bending and cracking, carefully transfer to racks by lifting parchment paper.
When completely cool, stack the cookie slabs still on parchment, and set aside to dry out at room temperature for 3 to 7 days.
Congratulations ! Now your Gingerbread Panels are ready to be decorated & assembled .
Expert Tip: You can skip the above steps & jump right into the fun part of decorating and assembling with Fresh Baked and Preservative free Construction Cookies and Royal Icing Mixes from ArtCAKEtect that come with delectable collection of mouthwatering treats to decorate your cookie creations with, to get the party started- right away!