There’s something about gingerbread houses that never seems to lose its
appeal. The tradition starts when we’re young, when more of the candy
disappears into our stomachs than ends up on the houses, and never seems to
die. The houses just get more elaborate. And if you think decorating them is
just for kids, take a stroll through the gingerbread house display at the
Festival of Trees. That ought to inspire you.
So have some fun, get messy and tackle your own house. You’ll feel like a kid
again, complete with the sugar high. And no, buying a premade kit that
already includes everything you need doesn’t count. You do want to devour it
at some point, and store-bought kits are less-than-edible. And besides,
where’s the fun in that?
Step 1. Pick a pattern for your house—or cottage, or villa, or mansion,
or whatever. There are a ton of them on the internet, and they all vary in
size and simplicity. Decide what you want, print it out and then snip
Step 2. Make your dough—remember, gingerbread houses are meant to be
Step 3. Roll out your dough, place the patterns on top, and cut carefully
with a knife. The first couple may be tricky, but it gets easier after that.
A tip: don’t roll your dough too thin. It makes it more difficult to work
Step 4. Bake the pieces. While they’re baking, inhale deeply and enjoy.
Step 5. Store the pieces in airtight containers until you’re ready for the
Step 6. Gather candy–the more variety the better. Hit the bulk section
of grocery stores, raid your hidden stashes, use leftover Halloween candy,
Step 7. Find a base for your house. Festive paper plates work well if you’re
making a little house, and big platters are good for the mansion
Step 8. Make the icing, using pasteurized egg whites so it’s safe to eat. You
can divide the icing into bowls and tint each bowl with a different colour,
if you want.
Step 9. Glue your house together. Make sure you anchor it to the base with
some icing, too. That way it doesn’t slide around.
Step 10. Go wild. Remember, anything goes.
ALSO: For a great gingerbread and icing recipe go here.