Whip cream and vanilla extract on high speed until it forms soft peaks; set aside.
In a large electric mixer bowl, combine sugar, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon.
Fold in molasses and reserved whipped cream.
Gradually add 8 cups flour, mixing well. Knead dough by hand, adding 1/2 cup
flour until smooth and even in color.
Line four cookie sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough into four parts and
roll out immediately directly on baking sheets to 1/4-inch thick rectangle (approximately
10 x 12-inch), or wrap dough sections in plastic wrap and refrigerate. (If refrigerated,
allow dough to come to room temperature before rolling.)
Bake rectangles for 30 minutes. Remove pans from oven, cut desired shapes (see
below) with a knife and return pan to oven for an additional 10 minutes. Remove
pans from oven and cool completely on wire rack.
For icing, combine all ingredients in a stainless steel bowl over a pan of simmering
water. Stir until the mixture is smooth. Remove bowl from heat.
Store icing in an air-tight container until ready to use.
Design your own house or use the following basic guidelines as a pattern: Cut
two 12 x 8-inch pieces for sides and two 12 x 6-inch pieces for the roof. For the
ends, draw a pattern that has an 8 x 8-inch square on the bottom, topped with an
8-inch wide x 4-inch high triangle. Use this pattern to cut two ends (the front
and back of your house). Cut out windows and doors where desired.
Be creative – use window cutouts and cut in half to create shutters, fashion
a chimney or walkway. Use an existing or create your own cardboard box to support
your gingerbread house. Pipe frosting onto the back of your gingerbread walls and
“glue” directly onto the box. You may place your house on foil-wrapped cardboard
or bake a free-form gingerbread base. Use candies, cookies and icing to decorate
your house. If it isn’t eaten, the house may be wrapped loosely and saved for next