Easy Gingerbread House
by Dec 14th, 2010 // Holiday, Just for Fun, Kid-tastic
Easy Gingerbread House
I know this is hard to believe, but we’ve never made a gingerbread house before. I’m not sure why, other than the fact that they look like tons of work. When I mentioned this to my friend, Macki, she said making them out of graham crackers is no trouble at all.
No trouble at all when Macki shows up at your house with bags and bags and bags of candy. Seriously. She dropped the candy at my house then scooted over to her kid’s soccer game. She said she’d be back in two hours and suggested we set the candy out in muffin tins.
Opening and sorting candy kept my kid busy for an entire hour while I got the rest of the stuff ready. His eyes were the size of saucers as he excitably described each and every candy in great detail.
Macki arrived shortly thereafter and got right to work assembling the house using royal icing. Her daughter totally knew the drill and was a great little helper.
Before we knew it the entire house was assembled. The kids were relentless in their attempts to eat candy at every turn. They would measure a long piece of candy against the house, announced they’d need it shorter and refuse to let us cut it down. Instead they would eat away at it until it was the exact size they desired.
Look at that concentration on my kid’s face while he decorates. He’s even more delicious than the candy.
Macki’s kid made this beautiful with everything perfectly placed and my kid’s house (1st pic above) is a candy EXPLOSION. A little someone has a BIG sweet tooth. Now for the details…
Easy Ginger Bread House
Prep Time: 10 mins
6 intact graham crackers
1 lb powdered sugar
2 pasteurized egg whites OR meringue powder
1/4 cup water
variety of candy
square piece of cardboard
pastry bag with round tip or plastic baggie or Kids Decorating Set
Cover your cardboard in aluminum foil and separate candy into muffin tins. Set up an assembly area with all the candy in muffin tins. Using your electric mixer blend together eggs whites (or meringue powder), sugar and water until it forms shiny and smooth ribbon like consistency. Transfer to a pastry bag (or ziploc with the end cut off). Place one graham cracker on a cutting board and use a serrated knife to saw off an angled line from the center of the long side to the center line of either side of the cracker to form a peak. (Resist the urge to cut, you should just gently saw). Repeat with one more cracker. This will form the front and back doors of your house. To assemble the house, pipe some frosting onto the aluminum covered cardboard and stand one piece of un-cut graham cracker up in the frosting. Pipe more frosting along the inside walls of your gingerbread house and attach a door piece to that frosting. Measure where the other wall of your house should go but putting it up against the other side of the door. Once you’ve found the correct position, add a line of frosting to the aluminum covered cardboard and to the inside part of the graham cracker and glue it all together. Three walls of your house should be up. Now add the fourth wall (remaining door) by piping frosting at the other end of the graham crackers and attach the door. Run a line of frosting at the top of each wall and attach your roof at an angle. Add frosting where the two parts of the roof come together. Reinforce all walls and the roof by piping in an extra layer of frosting. Let settle for 5 minutes pressing in to reinforce where needed. Once it’s stable, decorate!
Looks like a lot of fun!
We had so much fun!!! Sylvie definitely went for the simplistic look this year. I think she ate more candy than she put on her house. The best tip is to give your kid a healthy lunch before starting, that candy is just too irresistible!
loved having you!
these are awesome rebecca! ethan and nora had made some at a holiday event (graham cracker houses) but seeing these makes me want to make some more at home! best wishes this season!
awe. thanks, amy. your kids are so beautiful.
brilliant idea with graham crackers!
I love that your kiddo designed a candy landscape along with the bldg. 🙂
my question is always, 'what do you do with the house after you make it? is it just there for decoration, or do you eat it?" we bought a gingerbread house from Ikea, but haven't put it together yet.
ours is sort of just on display but i must admit i want to take a bite of it every time i walk by it.
I've got extra royal frosting… now I just need lots of candy and graham crackers. I so want to make a gingerbread house but I don't think that I've got the time. This is perfect centerpiece for the kids table.
wow. what a good idea for the kids table!
Wow that's a lot of candy! I thought we used a lot this year, but no! We've been making gingerbread houses since the kids were born, but using graham crackers would be a quick way to make a "village" and let each boy have his own house!
@melissa, we try to keep the kids from eating the house until Christmas (if possible!)…last year, our then-3-year-old was sneaking features off the house a couple weeks ahead, we didn't even notice until our 6-yr-old busted his little brother! =)
Here's a tip for getting gingerbread houses to stay together: Use sugar cubes with royal icing "mortar" to reinforce the seams where the walls meet (on the inside). I have a gingerbread party every year and this tip, passed down from my aunt, ensures that all the houses stay together, even after a car ride home.
totally doing the sugar cubes next year. thanks for the hot tip.
I've been getting prefab all-in-one kits to make ours but will be doing this instead next year. Thanks Rebecca and Macki! BTW, at my kid's preschool, they used milk or orange juice cartons to stabilize the houses — just ice the crackers on one side and stick.
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Excellant, i was looking for something easy for a 1st grade class to do, this is perfect! Thank you
My daughter and I struggling with this ! We can’t keep our house together and I’m getting very frustrated. I think I may have made an error making the royal icing. She’s fine because the longer it takes me to assemble the house, the more candy eating goes unnoticed ! Suggestions???
If I use merengue powder instead of eggs. How much do I use?
What a great idea! There is an organization at our school that makes houses every year with kids. But it costs $25 per child. With five children, that is a lot of money. I think the graham crackers are the way to go!
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Can you use store bought frosting?