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Parenting Positive Kids Parenting Positive Kids

Gingerbread House 101

Posted by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM
  • 41 Replies
4 moms liked this

An iconic image of Christmas, the gingerbread house invokes warm and comforting memories for many of us. From the very basic graham crackers glued onto an empty milk carton, to elaborate 18th-century castle displays, the gingerbread house can come in any shape and size. One of the very best parts of the gingerbread house, at least for many children, is the plethora of candy involved. A house made of cookies garnished with candy seems almost too good to be true, doesn't it? Why not spend some time this weekend creating a dream house with your family?

Here is an easy, step by step, set of instructions to follow to make the best gingerbread house ever!

  • Pick your theme - Will you build a Swiss chalet? A two story home that resembles your own? A barn with horses? Involve your children and see how elaborate of a gingerbread house you can dream!
  • Choose your dough wisely - You'll need a stiff, thick gingerbread dough. Look for a recipe that contains no leaveners, which would cause the dough to puff - you want a solid, flat cookie.
  • Use Royal Icing - Regular icing, also known as butter cream, is soft and pliable and it will run off of your house. Instead, whip up a batch of Royal Icing. Within just a few minutes of piping it on, it begins to harden and holds its shape beautifully, as well as holding the candies into position. Use this icing to glue the pieces of gingerbread together to make it upright.
  • Cut out a pattern - You can find patterns online, from simple to super intricate, but why not create your own? Draw a pattern on paper, and then trace it to cardboard and cut it out again. After the gingerbread dough is cut out, use the pattern and a pizza cutter to trace the shapes and then bake.
  • Assemble the house - Cover a sturdy piece of cardboard with foil, and assemble the house on it - it makes for very easy transport. After all, no one wants to build a house and see it collapse when you move it to the table!
  • Decorate with your favorite candies and even more Royal Icing - Fill a disposable piping bag - or create one by rolling parchment paper into a cone. Pipe the icing into decorative shapes and use it to beautify the house. Pipe a small amount of icing into a dot and top it with a candy. Don't forget the tried and true ratio of "One candy for the house, one candy for the decorator!"

Will you be building a gingerbread house with your family this holiday season? What will yours look like?

ŠiStockphoto.com/nautilus_shell_studios

by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
4kidz916
by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 3:18 PM

My niece teaches first grade and I went today to help her class make gingerbread houses.  I had a lot of fun but ours didn't look quite like the one in the pic above. 

GwenMB
by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 3:27 PM

I got kits because I didn't want to make my own gingerbread (and then saw people comment on FB about using graham crackers - so would have done that if I'd thought about it!).

No idea what they'll look like since we haven't done it yet.  But I'm sure the boys will have fun - which is the key!

Bluetick
by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 3:41 PM
Made one of these yesterday !!!
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MamaMandee
by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 3:50 PM
1 mom liked this

I thought about doing some with graham crackers as we have like 5 boxes of them. 

lalasmama2007
by Ticia on Dec. 13, 2012 at 4:09 PM

We may try to make one.

countrygirlkat
by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 4:38 PM

We haven't ever done one but we really should because my kids are at the age they would love it!

timon95
by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 5:13 PM

tfs! probably won't be building any gingerbread houses anytime soon. they would look lopsided.

chrissysnow22
by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 5:36 PM
We build a gingerbread house every year. I better get busy making my pattern.
chrissysnow22
by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 5:36 PM
Each year looks different. I go with the flow.
MichelleK41
by on Dec. 13, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Can you share your Royal icing recipe? Thanks =)

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