Gingerbread Houses

by | Nov 23, 2015 | Crafting, Recipe | 0 comments

When I was little, Grandma always had an activity planned for the whole family after Thanksgiving Dinner. We ate at noon so this left A LOT of time for games and activities. Last year, I told you about the gumdrop trees that she would have ready for us to create as soon as we were done eating. This year, I am going to teach you about how to make her gingerbread houses technically however… they are graham cracker houses. Our family uses grahams for 2 very simple reasons- first, are crackers way less work and second, while gingerbread smells amazing – none of us actually like the taste of it and the cookies fall apart if you don’t make them just right.

Grandma tried lots of different ways to assemble the houses. One year she had us bring our own boxes to cover with crackers and candies but we all brought boxes that were way too big and we ran out of crackers and got really bored when the icing didn’t stick well enough. She tried having us glue the grahams onto milk cartons, which really did work just fine, but it was tough to get enough little cartons for all of us. Then one year, she preassembled all the houses and it was genius. Using hot glue instead of frosting – she assembled all the little houses for us. This is great because the grahams can hold a little more weight and its not like you eat them anyways so why waste the frosting? She also glued the each of the houses onto their own piece of cardboard. Most of the pieces were about 1 sq foot. This was amazing because it allowed us kiddos to really let our imaginations go crazy and make some pretty amazing landscapes. Plus – it contained the mess a little better than a paper plate and since the house was glued on, there was no chance of it sliding off and crashing to the floor during transport. Win Win

When you go shopping for all of your house building ingredients – be sure to get candies with lots of color and don’t be afraid of getting different types of cookies too. Think mini oreos for stepping-stones, pretzel sticks for fences or log siding, waffle cones for trees. Gumdrops and marshmallows of all sizes for trees, bushes, fencepost glue, etc. Twizzlers for garland and edging. Mini MMs for lights. Coconut for snow. Seriously, get something of every color so that the possibilities are endless. And just remember, if you have lots of candy and frosting on a table– at least 20% is going to be eaten by the adults who just cant help sneaking a piece here and there.

Speaking of frosting, you are going to want a good heavy duty frosting so that you don’t have to waste any time waiting for your peppermint wreath to dry before hanging it on your house. You can always go with a good old fashioned Royal Icing recipe or you can use this {SUPER-DUPER STRONG} gingerbread icing glue:

3 Tablespoons meringue powder (available wherever cake decorating supplies are sold)

1lb powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)

4-6 Tablespoons cold water

In a glass bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Add 2T water.  Mix well.  Add more water as necessary to reach a very thick consistency.  When you drag a knife through it, you want to see a clean path left.  If it’s too thick, add a tiny amount of water, mix, and pull your knife through again.  If it’s too runny, add more sugar.

Put icing into a zip-seal baggie & cut off a corner.

Be sure to stop by my blog on Monday – I will have a few helpful tips and a template to help you map out the graham cracker house assembly process.

Until Next Time,

Emily B.

Emilyelizabethjoybrown.com

As promised a few tips and a template!

graham crackers

Each house takes 6 whole grahams. Each box of grahams should get you 4 houses. I recommend using an Exacto Knife to cut the grahams so that you don’t end up with a very crumby mess. This set up will make a nice sized house for kiddos to decorate without getting bored. If you are wanting to make one that is bigger, you should use a cardboard box as a base to build onto. Just hot glue the crackers directly to the board so that you have a sturdier structure that won’t crumble under the pressure 😉

Here are a few house design inspirations for you – I wanted to include some of my creations from growing up, but unfortunately my family wasn’t crazy with the camera 🙁 also, now that I have compiled all of this delicious inspiration… I must go find all the candy in the house and devour it now 🙂

combine
John Deer Combine posted on This Site
eatthisuphouses
An Array of houses from kids of all ages at Eat This Up Blog
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Super simple but large house by Made by K Blogspot
Original_Heather-Baird-gingerbread-houses-log-cabin-crop_h.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.616.462
A log cabin by the folks over at HGTV… 
window_candy_alone
Adorable little mug houses from Not Martha

And then… there are people who do this as not just a hobbby – but as part of their full time jobs. #overachievers

grandfloridian.jpg
A life sized masterpiece at the Grand Floridian Resort in Disney World.
ship.jpg
A pirate ship from Seattle’s Gingerbread Village
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