1 cup light corn syrup (GINGERBREAD)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (GINGERBREAD)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (GINGERBREAD)
4 cups all-purpose flour (GINGERBREAD)
1 tablespoon ground ginger (GINGERBREAD)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (GINGERBREAD)
1 cup confectioners' sugar (ICING GLUE)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (ICING GLUE)
1 egg white (ICING GLUE)
1/3 cup boiling water (ICING GLUE)
prepared vanilla frosting (DECORATIONS)
bite-sized frosted wheat cereal (DECORATIONS)
striped chocolate candies (DECORATIONS)
various shaped pretzels (DECORATIONS)
ice cream cone (DECORATIONS)
pastry bag with small and medium round tips
MAKING THE GINGERBREAD:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small pan, cook corn syrup, brown sugar and vegetable shortening over medium heat, stirring until smooth.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, ginger and cinnamon. Mix well. Add corn syrup mixture, stirring until dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Cut shapes (see template); place 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Bake 10 to 15 minutes. Place sheets on racks; cool slightly. Trim cookies; cool completely.
MAKING THE HOUSE:
1. For icing glue, in a medium bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, cream of tarter and egg white; add boiling water. Beat until icing holds stiff peaks.
2. Working with the front and sides of the house first, generously apply the icing glue along adjoining sides. (It's best to apply icing with a pastry bag filled with a medium tip, but you can also use a spatula.) Hold the walls upright while the icing hardens. Repeat with remaining sides.
3. Once sides are firmly together, liberally apply icing glue to bottom edges. Attach house framework to the cardboard base. Let icing harden.
4. Next, apply roof. For best results, apply the icing glue to top edges of side, front and back walls. Apply icing glue along peak of roof. Gently press roof pieces in place. Allow icing to harden well before decorating.
DECORATING THE HOUSE:
1. Using a pastry bag fitted with a small tip, pipe decorations onto house.
2. Spread cardboard base with frosting and attach frosted cereal or pretzels as a fence while frosting is still moist.
3. Spread the roof liberally with frosting and attach striped chocolate candies or other sweets as desired. Let icing harden before moving to display area.