Monday, December 19, 2011

Make your own Gingerbread House

......OK, we cheat a little bit.....we buy a pre-made Gingerbread House Kit......but it it's still all good! The kids LOVE to make one every year..... and what is the best part?  Decorating! Well, no......for the kids it's eating candy while they are decorating! And for me, it's witnessing their anticipation, spending quality time with them, and then producing a beautiful centerpiece to cherish until it's eaten up right after Christmas! This year we went for the Gingerbread village. The kit comes with several little houses, so each boy had more than one to decorate.

Start with your pre-baked gingerbread house pieces (store bought
or home made). Buy different Christmas candy (the candy
provided in the kits are never enough!) and put each kind in
a bowl for easy access to decorate......and to nibble on!  Have a color
scheme in mind. We use the traditional red and green colors.
Also provide LOTS of icing. You can make your own or buy ready
made icing in a bag in your local supermarket.  I always provide
one icing bag per person. 

If you have little kids, I have found out it's easier for
them to decorate with the gingerbread pieces laying flat.
Let them have fun......!
After they finish decorating just let the icing dry
and then "glue" the house(s) together with icing. Use a
cardboard as a base, it is soooooo much easier this way
to stabilize all the parts while you assemble every
piece. Be sure to spread some icing on the
cardboard to secure your pieces. One more piece of
advice: Don't attempt to assemble the house unless
the icing is dry.... the gravitational force will
pull all your candy down.....and you will end up
with a sad and droopy Gingerbread House!

To make a centerpiece, lay the Gingerbread
House(s) in a tray. Make snow with different size
marshmallows and lay chestnuts for rocks. Then
cut a few sprigs off of your Christmas tree or wreath
to make little trees in your scenery. You are done!
One word of caution: Snow mysteriously starts
"melting" with the passing of time.......and the
colorful roof tops tend to disappear as well....

Look at some other Gingerbread houses my
 family has created in the past: 

We added Gingerbread men....

We used Shredded Wheat for a snowed roof top effect....

We added whimsical characters out of candy.... 

The kids will be out of school this week, so go ahead and make a one-of-a-kind Gingerbread House, make memories, and start a new tradition! Oh, and don't forget to put on the Christmas music!

Happy Holidays and Happy Decorating!
Ana Alicia

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