The following is a basic recipe for gingerbread that holds up well and is sturdy for constructing 3 small houses. Take time to make a template for your house and use it to make and trim your gingerbread pieces. I kept things simple and then supplied plenty of royal icing, candies, cereal, pretzels and marshmallows for decorating.
6 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tsp ginger
4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, soft
1 1/2 packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup molasses
1 Tbl water
Whisk together dry ingredients.
Beat butter & sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs, molasses & water.
Beat in 1/2 of the flour mixture; stir in remaining.
Knead dough until well blended.
Wrap in plastic & refrigerate for 2 or more hours.
Plan pattern pieces for houses and cut out of paper.
Allow dough to sit at room temp for 10 minutes.
Divide in half; dust surface with flour and roll 1/4″ thick.
Cut out pieces and place on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 for 11-15 minutes for large pieces; 6-8 minutes for small pieces. Cool. Cut out any doors or windows right away; also recheck pattern with baked pieces & trim if needed.
Combine in a bowl:
2 2/3 cup powdered sugar
4 tsp meringue powder
4 Tbl water
Mix well and adjust with water or sugar for desired consistency.
Assemble houses on a firm piece of cardboard or pretty plate. Use royal icing in abundance to help you along & fix any breaks. Enjoy the decorating process!