My mom has been making a Gingerbread House each Christmas holiday for as long as I can remember. Many of our friends have made and eaten the houses with us through the years and now my kids are making this tasty decoration with their Mamaw. It brings back great memories.
Let’s face it. I’m no cook, pastry chef, or any type of food creative. My mom and sisters, on the other hand, are definitely artists in their own right around the kitchen. Because of this, my mom (aka Mamaw) graciously helped me write this post while she directed the kids while they made this year’s Gingerbread House. Thanks Mom!
What you will need:
- Box of pointy ice cream cones
- Six graham crackers per house
- Green food coloring
- Assorted hard candies and sprinkles
- Royal icing
Tip from Mamaw: Make sure you buy the plain graham crackers for your Gingerbread House. The cinnamon on these graham crackers this year made it difficult for the icing to stay on the crackers and glue the walls and roof on.
Ingredients – 3 egg whites, 4 cups (1 lb.) powdered sugar, 1-2 tsp. Cream Tartar. Dump these together and mix until smooth.
Tip from Mamaw: When separating eggs, do this over a bowl not over the royal icing mixture. This way if the yoke falls with the white then it won’t ruin the entire batch of royal icing.
Tip from Mamaw: Using a hand mixer, make sure the consistency of the icing is good by moving the beaters in a straight line. When it leaves kind of a wake on the top of the mixture, it should be thick enough. If not add powdered sugar a little at a time until the thick consistency desired.
House Construction Directions
- Cover the bottom of the plate with a thin coat of icing.
- Cut a point on 1/2 of Graham cracker for each end of the house. Do this by scoring the cracker with a sharp knife from one corner at the top of the long cracker to the midpoint of the long end of the cracker. Next score from the other corner. Then using this line break off the excess part of the cracker. See pictures below.
- Set up walls of the house: Put a little icing on the edges of the crackers to hold the walls together. Put the bottom edge of the crackers into the icing on the plate and then put the smaller cracker with the points to the insides of the longer “walls” (whole graham crackers). Make sure there is some icing between all touching “walls” and hold in place until the icing is set(hardened) enough that the house doesn’t collapse. Tip from Mamaw: Icing will set better in less humid weather.
- Add the roof of the house: Put icing on the top edges of the “walls” and place a long whole graham cracker on each side for the rood. Add icing to the peak of the roof where the two long graham crackers touch. Hold in place until the two pieces don’t slip off the walls.
- Using icing draw the features on the Gingerbread House such as doors, windows, and icicles hanging from the roof. Tip from Mamaw: Use a stainless steal icing piping nozzle and piping bag for “gluing” walls together and drawing features on the Gingerbread House.
- Make trees for landscaping by using green icing by adding green food coloring to a portion of the icing. Mix well and add more food coloring for desired color. Put a couple fingers in the center of an ice cream cone to hold it and use the back of a spoon to add the green icing and smear all over the tree. Place tree on “ground” beside house.
- Add sprinkles and hard candies for decoration. For example, use candy canes as a fence, hard candies as a path to the front door, sprinkles on the trees, or hard candy for the chimney. Tip from my husband: It’s really funny to use hard candy to make a toilet planter for the front yard of the Gingerbread House. Simply glue the right shaped hard candies together with icing and use icing to make a flush handle.
Here are some visuals that might help along the way. Scoring the crackers:
This is what will be your end walls…
Last Tip from SimpleStepsForLivingLife: Remember making a Gingerbread House isn’t about designing it a certain way or having it perfect but is about spending time doing something you enjoy to celebrate Christmas and getting to share this with friends and family.
TO MAMAW: Thanks so much mom for creating special memories for my childhood. Thank you for sharing your love for Christmas with me and my friends and your neighbors and family and strangers. You make the world a brighter place, and I’m so glad I get to spend time with you!