Gingerbread Dough -

Gingerbread Dough

1 CupShortening
1 CupSugar
1 1/4 CupMolasses, blackstrap
5 1/2 CupsFlour
2 TspGinger
1 TspBaking Soda
1 TspSalt
1 TspCloves, ground
1 TspCinnamon

1) Blend shortening with sugar until fluffy, add eggs and both molasses.
2) In separate bowl, stir flour, ginger, baking soda, salt, cloves and cinnamon together.
3) Add flour mixture to molasses mixture, gradually until well combined.
4) Gather cookie dough into a ball. Divide in half; flatten into discs. Optional: Wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap; refrigerating at least one hour or until firm.
5) After shaping cookies, bake at 350 F for 12 - 15 minutes.

* Making a gingerbread house is an all day project.
* If making a house, draw out pattern first.

Royal Icing

1/2 CupWater, warm
1/4 CupMeringue Powder
4 1/2 CupsIcing Sugar
1) In bowl, blend water with meringue powder for two minutes. Blend in icing sugar gradually, blending for four minutes. (3/4 cups of raw egg whites)
2) Set aside half of the icing.
3) Pipe icing to decorate.

* For extra stiffness add 1/3 cup meringue powder instead of a 1/4 cup and extra icing sugar, gradually.