OK, Sarah was wondering about my recipe, and since I hate to type (ha ha ha), here is the link:
Just type that in your address bar (or highlight it, right click, hit copy, and then click the address bar, right click, and paste it) and you'll have my handy dandy recipe. Although I did alter it a touch. I actually HATE the taste of gingerbread, it's just too strong for me. So I completely left out the cloves and only used half of the cinnamon. Remember the trick to roll it right on the back of your cookie sheet. And I just asked Bill to make the patterns, you only need 3. Make a rectangle for the sides, a square the same height for the front and back with a triangle jutting out, and then however long your triangle side is, the roof should be a little wider to hang over, and a little longer then your side wall. Piece o' cake, er, gingerbread! We made ours only about 6 inches long, to cut down on the overall supplies required, since we were making FOUR, and it took me three recipes. I thought it only took 2, I re-rolled the dough out that I peeled away and put in four trays of cookie from that two batches. Then someone pointed out that I forgot two walls and two roofs. Oops. It was late, I finished at 11 PM as it was! So I made another batch Saturday morning and had enough for about a dozen gingerbread people, too. I get to decorate them, if I can make the time. And cooling on Saturday for about 5 hours was plenty of time, even though the recipe says over night in the oven. My firefighter husband would never permit such a crazy idea!
Oh, and stiff Royal icing, that's a whole other story. Four cups of confectioner's sugar, 3 TBSPs of meringue powder (find it in the cake decorating section of Walmart, it replaces egg whites so you don't risk salmonella!!), 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 c warm water, makes a very runny icing!! That was the recipe I found, I added 2 more cups of confectioner's sugar before we used it as cement. Then I made a separate batch, with probably only 1 extra cup of sugar to "glue" decorations on! I mixed in my left over cement too, no need to waste it! The cement batch the boys had trouble with, it really was quite stiff, but the other batch even Michael could do easily.
One side note my recipe forgot to mention. Royal icing turns solid as a rock, which makes it great for the gingerbread houses. I almost hurt myself trying to get the decorating tubes apart the next day though, so put them in water to soak or just wash them right away!!