Build a Better Gingerbread House


Building and decorating a gingerbread house is a holiday tradition in many homes.  Personally, I take the easy route and buy a gingerbread house kit supplementing it with extra candy.  Homemade gingerbread men is a wintertime favorite that we often save for January.  I go with the kit because, unlike the gingerbread men, no one really eats the gingerbread house.  The candies get nibbled, but usually the gingerbread itself becomes squirrel food.  If you want to go homemade all the way, be sure to check out Martha Stewart.  She has done some pretty amazing gingerbread  houses over the years.

Certain candies, snacks and cereals can really make a gingerbread house special.  We always gather up all remaining Halloween candy to see if any of it will enhance our house.  Mini green gum drops and pretzel sticks can become "trees."  Tootsie rolls can be stacked like a wood pile.  Sweetened flake coconut can be used to create "snowy" textures at the base of the gingerbread house.  Mini candy canes can be lined up to make a super cute fence.

I regret that I do not have any photos of this year’s gingerbread house.  Truth be told, we haven’t made it yet.  Little Vincenzo reminds me of this several times a day!  Usually, I assemble the gingerbread house while the children are at school.  They have no desire to wait for the royal icing to set up.  Decorating the gingerbread house is much more important than putting it together.  Each child decorates one side.  Other than some assistance with icing, I stand back.  It’s their project.

  Necco Wafers make great roof tiles and walkways.



  These also make great "snow covered" roof tops.







Peppermint candies add a classic accent to any gingerbread house.  Any leftovers can be crushed and used for a cookie topping or for peppermint bark.






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