The Food Network provides two good recipes for gingerbread houses. Each gingerbread house recipe also includes a royal icing recipe along with decorating tips and ideas.
For the first recipe, cream 1 stick of softened butter, 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 of molasses in a bowl. Also add 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cloves and 1 teaspoon of baking soda until smooth. Blend in 2 cups of flour and 2 tablespoons of water, making a stiff dough. Chill for at least 30 minutes, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Roll the gingerbread dough to the edges of a rimless cookie sheet. With a sharp knife, cut out gingerbread cookie patterns. Bake for 15 minutes and let cool. Assemble the house with royal icing.
For the second recipe, cream 8 ounces of salted butter until smooth. Mix in 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar until fluffy. Add 2 eggs individually until incorporated. Add 1 cup of molasses and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Sift together 6 1/4 cups of cake flour, 4 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Also sift in 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix in the flour mixture in batches, and then refrigerate the dough for about two hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and grease two cookie sheets. Place 1/4-inch-thick, rolled-out dough on each sheet, and cut into gingerbread shapes. Bake for about 15 minutes.