Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. In a pan, over a low heat, melt the butter, muscovado sugar, golden syrup and treacle, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside and leave to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, mix the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and mixed spice. Add the melted butter to the dry flour mix and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a stiff dough. Add a little more flour if the mixture is too soft.
Shape the dough into a ball and knead for a couple of minutes. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and roll out each to a thickness of 5mm (¼in). Lightly flour nonstick baking paper ready for your template.
Cut out a template from baking paper using the downloadable guide at tesco.com/realfood. Or create your own by measuring 2 x 15x9cm (6x3½in) rectangles (sides); 2 x 18x9cm (7x3½in) rectangles, each topped with a 9cm (3¾in)-high triangle (gable ends); 2 x 15x19cm (6x7½in) rectangles (roof). Then use these to cut your shapes from the dough.
Cut out 2 windows 4x4cm (1½x1½in) in each of the 2 side rectangles. Cut out a 3x5cm (1x2in) door and 3 x 4x4cm (1½x1½in) windows above the door in one gable end.
Re-roll any leftover dough and cut out tree shapes or snowmen to decorate the garden. Put all the pieces of gingerbread on baking sheets lined with nonstick baking paper. Place a boiled sweet in each window . While cooking, this will melt to create a stained glass effect.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 8-9 minutes or until just firm and the sweets have melted. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before trimming to neaten while still warm. Transfer the pieces to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Once cold, put the gingerbread pieces in a Tupperware box layered between pieces of nonstick baking paper. Leave overnight to crisp up – if you assemble and decorate the house before it’s had time to harden-up properly, the pieces won’t be firm enough for the house to stay up.
When ready to decorate, make up the icing following packet instructions. Spread the roof with a thick layer of icing and stick on white chocolate buttons. Leave to set. Pipe icing onto window ledges and decorate with sweets.
Once set, join the 4 walls together with icing. Stick the walls onto a serving board to keep the house in place. Put a bowl inside the house to hold up the walls. Stick on the door with icing and decorate with sweets.
Once the walls are set, stick on the roof pieces. Use a thick line of icing running between the top join of the two roof pieces to make sure they stick together. You can use something like cups to prop up the sides, and keep them in place, while you put on the roof sections.
Spread any leftover icing on the board around the house to make a snow scene. You can decorate the garden with iced gingerbread trees and snowmen, make a little path using coloured sprinkles, and add any other sweetie decorations you like.
Download our easy to use Gingerbread house template template to make your own.
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