Chef Toni's Tips for Preparing the Perfect Gingerbread House

PHOTO Chef Toni Lynn Dickinson creates gingerbread housesPlayChef Toni Lynn Dickinson
WATCH Psychology of a Gingerbread Man

Have you ever tried to make a gingerbread house and ended up with a mess? Chef Toni Lynn Dickinson explains how to avoid the most common mistakes, so that your gingerbread house comes out a success.

Top 15 Tips for Gingerbread House Success

1. If you want very flat gingerbread, eliminate chemical leaveners, such as baking powder and baking soda.

2. Roll dough on well-floured parchment paper. Place a cutting board or wooden board underneath the paper.

3. Chill the dough before you cut out any designs or shapes. Always handle cold dough before baking.

4. Use an exactor knife or different shaped cutters to cut out designs and shapes.

5. Bake in a low oven (275° F) to reduce the possibility of air bubbles.

CLICK HERE for a Gingerbread House recipe

6. Cut, sand or file any uneven pieces gently.

7. Use crushed "Life Savers" to make stained-glass windows.

8. Use other products such as rolling fondant, marzipan or sugar paste for decoration.

9. Use other items in your home as molds or patterns for impressions.

10. Chill your mold before and after filling them for easier and cleaner release.

11. Use petal dust (available at cake baking accessory stores or on line) to give items depth, shine and interest.

12. Use cornstarch in your royal icing to for faster drying.

13. Use white vinegar to help keep white royal icing from turning yellow.

14. Color your royal icing to match whatever you are gluing.

15. Have fun while you make your house.

Click here to learn more about Chef Toni Lynn Dickinson and The French Culinary Institute