***Gingerbread Dough*** 1 cup sugar 1 cup shortening 1 cup dark molasses 1 egg 4 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice ***Icing*** 1 container (16 ounce size) creamy vanilla frosting assorted candies and cereals, if desired
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line jelly roll pan, 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch, with heavy-duty foil, leaving 1 inch of foil overhanging at each end of pan.
In large bowl, mix sugar, shortening, molasses and egg with spoon. Stir in all remaining Gingerbread Dough ingredients. Divide dough in half. Press half of dough in pan.
Bake gingerbread about 15 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched in center. Cool 5 minutes; carefully lift foil and gingerbread from pan.
Cut gingerbread lengthwise in half, then crosswise 2 times to make 6 rectangles. Cut angles from 2 corners of each rectangle to form roof of house. (The corners make good nibbles.) Cool completely, about 1 hour.
Repeat with remaining dough. Decorate houses with frosting and candies.