Saturday, January 2, 2010

First Ever Gingerbread House

A couple of years ago I decided that I wanted to make gingerbread men. I'd never made them before, had barely even eaten them before, but they looked like a ton of fun. And we'd found a set of cookie cutters for my daughter, 1 1/2 at the time, that had cutters for pretty much any occasion, so we wanted to put them to good use. The cookies were a hit, and have joined the semi-regular cookie rotation around here. Then last December, a friend brought me the beautiful holiday gift of a homemade gingerbread house. It was amazing and impressive, and I was pretty awed by it. So this winter, I was ready to take on the challenge.

The project took three days, and my little helper was there through each step. And was just as excited as I was at the undertaking.

Day 1 - Baking Day:

Gathering ingredients, sorting the candy (which needs to be done many times throughout this process), stirring, mixing, rolling, cutting, baking, cooling - all done on day one.

By the end of day one, I was pretty pleased with our results!

Day 2 - Construction:

Ah, royal icing. So much sugar, the worry over egg whites (we used powdered - I REALLY don't want anyone getting salmonella), a wonderful edible spackle.

We used soup cans to hold up the walls as they dried, which worked like a charm. And which little miss claimed were there in case the gingerbread baby who would live in the house would get hungry. Such a sweetie.

By the time we got the roof up, I was feeling pretty good about the project. And we were super excited for the following day...

Day 3 - Decorating!!
This is what my little helper was waiting for the whole time, and I have to tell you, she did a great job. With only minimal help from mommy and daddy, she wielded the icing bag like a three and a half year old pro, and didn't eat TOO much of the candy as we went.

And here is the finished product! I am by no means about to go pro at this whole house-making thing, but I feel confident enough to make another next year, and maybe even try a less-simplified pattern. And maybe try a stained-glass window! Not to get too ahead of myself...

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