1 1/2 cups molasses
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups margarine
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
2 large eggs
6 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon ginger
2 teaspoons allspice
Note: Be very careful not to boil over. This is a huge batch and requires a huge pan. I make two simultaneously in two pans.
Note: Though this gingerbread is edible, it is extremely hard and crisp when baked to lend strength to the houses.
Yield: One large or four small houses.
Combine molasses, sugar, margarine, and baking soda in a very large pan. Bring to a boil being very careful not to boil over. Turn down head and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool until warm. Mix in egg.
Mix in ginger and allspice. Add the flour gradually to the molasses mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon. I usually need a bit more flour than the recipe calls for. The dough should be sticky but not wet. It'll be too sticky to work with at room temperature. When completely mixed, cover the bowl tightly with saran wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least two hours or up to a week.
Roll out 1/4 inch thick on waxed paper. Use additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cover with a second sheet of waxed paper after it's rolled. Lay pattern piece on gingerbread and cut around it with a small sharp knife. Remove top (but not bottom) layer of waxed paper and remove excess gingerbread, leaving desired pattern piece on waxed paper. Cut the waxed paper about an inch all around each piece so that each gingerbread piece is on its own separate piece of waxed paper. Lift waxed paper and transfer to cookie sheet. Gingerbread will be baked waxed paper and all. This helps maintain its shape because you don't have to transfer soft dough by hand.
Air dry pieces overnight before baking to help maintain good shape. This step is not necessary but is worth doing if you have time.
Bake at 375 for 12 to 15 minutes. Turn off oven and leave in another five minutes. Pull off wax paper as soon as pieces have cooled. It will also help make the pieces stronger and harder to leave the baked pieces out to dry for a day or so before you decorate.