Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Gingerbread Houses for Dummies

I am not a good gingerbread house maker.  I have made them a total of two times ever.  So if you are experienced in gingerbread house making, you will not find this post useful.  But if you are like me, I have a few helpful tips.

We had a group activity with Levi's classmates at HBS last weekend, making gingerbread houses.  They had a pretty brilliant idea, which is my first and most exciting tip.  The people in charge went to Dunkin Donuts and got a bunch of the to-go boxes.  That is what we used as our foundation!

This idea made the house building a breeze.  I think that is important.  I am the kind of person that would spend forever building the house, and by the time i'm done, I've lost all my steam for decorating it.  You will need to manipulate the box to your liking.  I tucked in the handles. Other people found really creative ways to get the box how they wanted it.
Don't be afraid to cut the graham crackers with a knife.  I used what was there, which was a plastic butter knife.  It worked just fine.  I also shaved down jagged edges.  I could have done a much better job, as you'll see in the pictures.
Toppings are everything.  Don't underestimate the power of cute candy.  

With that in mind, try to remember that less is more.  It's so easy to get carried away with decorating when you have so much cute candy in front of you.  I'm not really sure how to stop.  I wish I had a good tip for that.

Last tip is to pipe the icing on.  I think that one is a no-brainer.  I'm pretty sure that most people know to do that, but thought i'd put it in just in case.

I'm sure there are a billion icing recipe's out there, and if anyone has a great one please pass it on!  Here's an icing recipe from a friend.  I've never actually made it, but she says that it's reliable.  


3 egg whites, room temp.
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Combine all ingredients and beat for 7 to 10 minutes. Spread as desired.

Well, I guess it's time to reveal the gingerbread house that I made.  I'm actually really embarrassed by it.  Here I am, giving these tips, while I've made a pretty sad looking house.  

Ok, I doubt anyone fell for that one.  Here it is:

Yet, another lie.  If only.  This is the look I will go for next year.  I grabbed these pictures off of the internet.  Is that legal?  Ok, here's the REAL thing:

Ugh.  I really don't like looking at it.  It doesn't even have a chimney!   But I can tell you one thing . . . that foundation is a strong one!  I could throw this baby off of my balcony and it would still be intact.  I will try to do better next year.  At least now I know how to make these.  It can only go up from there right?




  1. such a great idea with the boxes! I have plans to make houses soon, I can only hope mine looks as good as yours!

  2. I am glad you are being so festive out there!
    I think your house is amazing and darling! And I did actually think you made the first two and was quite impressed :)
    We used to have such a time getting the houses built that we now just hot glue the graham crackers together-takes about 10 seconds to build the house but you cannot eat them.
    The pic of all the candy is like a dream, I am certainly going to get my gingerbread house going soon!