Every year, it has become a tradition, to build a gingerbread house. It is a fun family activity. So, Sunday morning I started to make the gingerbread. I used the recipe for gingerbread and icing from the Food Network's site. I actually doubled it.
My husband, the engineer in the family, made a cut out for me to follow each year. So, our house is bigger than the average and certainly home made. We rolled out the dough directly on the cookie sheets and then put our cut out on top and cut around it. I found it much easier since the dough is not the easiest to work with. It was my son's idea because we were getting frustrated. We cut out the windows and in some windows laid some crushed lifesavers to create a stained glass window.
That evening after everything had dried from cooking we put together our house. The glue, which is also on the recipe, I really let beat for 8 minutes. The thicker, the better. We let the house dry for about an hour after assembling it to make sure that it wouldn't collapse.
Then the fun begins. Our middle daughter had gone to the store with my husband and brought back tons of goodies to work with. Marshmallows, peppermints, m & m's, goobers, snocaps, licorice, good and plenty's. Last year we used lifesaver mints. Each year is different. Then comes the part of eating the candy while you are gluing on the food with the icing.
Voila. It is really something fun to do. We have pictures of many gingerbread houses over the years. It is a family project and the creativity is definitely there. Making the actual house and baking the gingerbread is probably the most difficult. If you don't have the patience you can buy unconstructed houses yet still enjoy the best part which is the decorating. I always consider that each year, believe me.