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Gingerbread House

January 1, 2009

This year I decided to make a gingerbread house from scratch. I did a little research and found these instructions from King Arthur Flour, which are really helpful and include a template.  This was a fun project – sort-of a craft project and sort-of a food project.  I’m not going to eat it, so that saves some calories (the leftover candy doesn’t have any calories, right?).

Here are some of the pieces ready to bake.

ready-to-bake

Here are the pieces out of the oven. A little more than halfway through baking, I put crushed Life Savers inside the window cutouts to make “stained glass” windows. I wasn’t sure how that would go, but it turned out great.

baked-pieces

My husband helped out by making a base and adding a light to it.  He suggested the light and it was a great idea!

board-with-light

The walls went up first and I let them dry overnight before adding the roof.

under-construction

Here I am working on the roof. I shingled it with Golden Grahams.

roofing

 

Here is the finished product. The wreath is made of sliced gumdrops and the trees are covered in gumdrop halves and pieces.

finished-1

finished-2

And here it is at night with the light on.

at-night

I wanted to do something simple for my first attempt and I think it turned out cute!  Next year…bigger and better!

A few tips:

  • Using this template and this recipe, I had just enough dough for the house and two trees.  If I made this one again, I’d make an extra half batch for more landscaping. I’d also make the roof a little bigger so there is more overhang. Oh, I’d add a chimney too.
  • Read through the instructions. Read through them over and over each step of the way. It’s not that difficult, but your life will be easier if you do everything in the right order and read the tips.
  • Be patient. Align the pieces before attaching them with icing and trim them if needed to get a 90 degree angle. Allow the royal icing plenty of time to dry between the steps.
  • Don’t cover your base in parchment. You know how nothing sticks to parchment? Well, tape doesn’t stick to it and even royal icing doesn’t stick to it very well.  I managed to make it work but I wouldn’t do it again.
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8 comments

  1. I just wanted to stop and say what a fabulous job you did on the gingerbread house! I’m really very impressed that you used golden grahams as the shingles on the roof. That’s awesome!!


  2. Wow, great job Jill. I’m very impressed – you’re so good at that. I don’t know if I’d have the patience!


  3. I am so envious! What a lovely creation you’ve made!

    Happy 2009!


  4. That is fantastic! How nice of your husband to get involved.

    Congrats to you… it looks like a big success.


  5. That is the most adorable gingerbread house! KA does have very helpful directions; I’ve had good luck with their recipes, but I’ve never taken on something quite so ambitious as a gingerbread house. I saw an Alton Brown gingerbread house challenge and it was fun to watch. Please tell you husband that his light is the perfect finishing touch!
    Nancy


  6. I have always, always wanted to make a gingerbread house. I just recently saw a whole cookbook devoted to them. Yours is beautiful. I love the shingles as well as the light. I’ll bet the warmth of the light made the gingerbread smell delicious and fresh baked!


  7. Oh, wow! What a lovely gingerbread house! I’ve always wanted to make one too, and had hoped this would be the year, but I ran out of time. Maybe a Valentine’s Cottage?!?

    Thanks for sharing!


  8. Wow, this one is cute too – and your first one!



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