We would have liked to post this weeks ago, but true to mom fashion, the holidays have been, well….chaotic. With an assortment of Christmas parties, Christmas programs, baking, shopping, school work, and adult work, it can be hard to fit it all in.
One tradition that many families try to squeeze in is the decorating of a gingerbread house. T loves the smell of freshly baked gingerbread in her home, but unfortunately hasn’t had the time to bake it. M has 5 kids and that would be a lot of houses to build. SO we decided to make our own spin on the gingerbread house (and by our own spin we mean we saw it on Pintrest and gave it a try!)
Graham Cracker “Gingerbread” Houses for the win!!!!!!!!!! These were SUPER easy, and took hardly any time at all. That is, of course, if you don’t count the clean up time. It took very little time and effort to get this set up though! T went to the store to buy the necessary elements, but she was profoundly disappointed in the lack of decorating materials this year. WHERE ARE THE GUMDROPS? WHERE ARE THE SNO CAPS?? So she was forced to improvise.
Need roof shingles? How about using some gum! Siding for your house? Wheaties do the trick! How about a beautiful walk way up to your front door? Give cereal a try! Most of the items T decorated with can be found in your home, but she did purchase things like: pull apart Twizzlers, Sweet tart balls, and candy canes.
Here is a list of your supplies:
- Graham Crackers
- Powdered Sugar (1 bag should produce enough for 3-4 houses)
- 2 egg whites per bag of powdered sugar used
- 1/8 C. of water
- Zip lock bags
- Decorating materials: cereal, gum drops, candy canes, twizzlers, jelly bellys, gum, white chocolate morsels, nerds, waffle cones (for a tree) just to name a few
- Paper/plastic bowls and plates
First, you’ll want to go ahead and get all of your decorating supplies ready to go. We used little plastic cups to divide up the supplies. Then we used paper plates to build the houses on.
Second, break up those graham crackers the way you want them. We just broke our rectangles in half (bonus points for you if you can find the ones already in squares). Each house needs 6 squares. (Note: you can modify your design by leaving them as rectangles. You would need 4 rectangles and 2 squares. You can also use a knife to cut the graham cracker to a point on one side so there are not holes in the roof like ours)
Third, make the icing! Using a mixer combine your powdered sugar and egg whites together. If it is too thick, slowly add the 1/8 C of water to thin out the consistency. If you accidentally make your icing too runny just add more sugar to help thicken it back up. You want the icing to be thick, but workable. This particular icing will harden quickly once used, which is great for these houses!
Fourth, divide the icing among your zip lock bags. Seal the bags. Then cut a TINY hole in the corner of the bag. (For you pros feel free to use an icing bag and tip, but the zip lock bags work great for kids, and you can just throw them out when you are done.
Fifth, time to get building! You will want to use the icing to make a square on the plate, then stick your graham cracker pieces in the icing. Be sure to ice up the edges of each graham cracker piece so they are glued to the plate and to each other. The roof is attached with icing on 2 of the top edges of your square and then with icing on the edges that connect in a point. Let it sit for 2 minutes to harden.
NOW THE GOOD STUFF! Decorate your house however you like! M’s kids seem to prefer creating houses suffering from natural candy disasters. Other people, like T, prefer more symmetrical houses.
All that really matters is that you have fun doing it.