Well we made the gingerbread house today, complete with chicken coop and gardens.
I baked it last night, adapting a cake recipe (add more flour, less water) from Better Housekeeping and rolling it out very thinly and baking at 350 for 15 minutes. I cut it into 4 squares (two walls two roof pieces) and 2 triangle-topped rectangles for the end walls.
Then today, while Posey was sleeping and Bennett was at school, I constructed the house. First I put down a row of icing for the wall to stick into.
Then I put some icing along one edge of the wall and a row along the platter for the next wall.
I repeated this for all walls, using various ridiculous tools (funnels and stock pots!?) to hold them up while I worked.
I let it sit for a while to strengthen as the icing dried – and because Posey decided she only needed a 30 minute nap today. Argh.
Then I sat Posey in her chair with an apple to watch and put on the roof pieces.
I used some extra cake and a tray to hold those pieces in place while Posey and I went to pick up Bennett from school.
Then came the fun part; Bennett got to decorate one half and I did the other. I think it turned out pretty well considering I kept having to stop the kids from eating all the candy or licking their fingers and smearing their spit all over the cake. I was more successful with the latter, but I’d still recommend only eating my side or the coop :O
Here are the rest of the photos:
Not as pretty as it could be, but so much fun to make! I would recommend making more icing than I did. I used an internet recipe for royal icing because it only called for 3 egg whites and that’s all I had. I had to be too sparing with it. Also, it was too soft, so I’d add more icing sugar. Another tip would be to use toothpicks to help hold it together while it sets – I had to use bamboo skewers at one point and they’re way too long.
Also, definitely construct without the kids when they’re this little. They really only like the candy part and it’s hard to concentrate on cutting out the pieces well if they’re terrorising you.