Thursday, December 23, 2010

DIY - Gingerbread House

Last year, we got a Gingerbread House Kit as a gift in a gift exchange. It was the first time that we had decorated a Gingerbread House. The kids really enjoyed decorating it and enjoyed eating it. Unfortunately, to me, the Gingerbread was dry and too crisp.

Wanting to recreate the experience in a more edible fashion this year, I undertook a new adventure. I made my own!

I started with a boxed kit for Gingerbread. I followed the recipe for making the cut-out cookies on the box. I rolled out the dough and cut the sides and roof pieces at 4" x 6". Then, I cut two ends. I'm sure there is a fanciful mathematical name for the figure I cut, but it is not coming to me right now - it was a rectangle with a triangle on top. I cut the sides at 4" and the angles of the triangle at 4". The base was about 5", that was what it worked out to be.

I placed them on the cookie sheet and baked. I had extra dough, so I made a few Gingerbread Men to go with the house. I also cut out two rectangles for doors and a circle for a window.

After baking them and cooling them, I used a tub of frosting and assembled my house. I started by placing some frosting on the pan I was using to hold the bottom of the walls. I built the four sides first and let them sit for a while before adding my roof. I "mortared" the corners on the inside to make them stronger. I added the roof pieces and let the Gingerbread House rest overnight uncovered so that the frosting could dry.
Then, today, I pulled out the candy that I had gotten near free on recent deals at the drugstores and gave them to the kids with some more frosting. The kids decorated the house and had a great time. They thought it was cool that they also had Gingerbread Men to decorate and eat as well.
We each had a decorated Gingerbread Man for a dessert this evening and they were good - not like the kit last year, they were so flavorful and not dry or overly crisp.

Those kits like we made last year, seem to retail around $10. By making our Gingerbread House on our own, we were able to have a better experience (there were Gingerbread Men! and they were more edible in my opinion) and at less of a cost (a couple of bucks for the mix and frosting and near free candy for accents).

This post shared at Frugal Friday.