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Building Gingerbread Houses

If you want to have fun on a cold winter day, busy yourself making a beautiful gingerbread house. For the winter holidays, many people make gingerbread houses with their children, but I've made a few all on my own as a creative outlet. The best bit of advice I can offer in making a gingerbread house is to have a good template. Just like building a real house, the structure is only as good as its foundation. Te same holds true for a gingerbread house. Create a good template to anchor to a foundation, and your house will stand for as long as you wish. You can click this link to find templates for the roof, sides, back, front, and even a chimney, if you want one. Once you've found and created a good template for the structure, following these guidelines for building your gingerbread house:

  • While you can make your own gingerbread dough, I find that it's easier and more convenient to buy pre-made dough. You can usually find gingerbread dough in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.
  • Before rolling out your dough on waxed paper, cover it with a slight dusting of flour so that the dough won't stick to the paper. Roll the dough to about 1/4-inch thick and then lay your template onto the dough and use a sharp knife to cut the pieces.
  • Place the pieces onto a cookie sheet and bake according to your recipe or package directions, and then allow the pieces to cool thoroughly before you start building your house.
  • Use a board or tray on which to build your house, and cover it with aluminum foil. Apply a thick layer of white icing to the aluminum foil. Use a pastry bag or a plastic bag with a tiny corner snipped away and fill it with icing. Stand one wall up into the icing, and then apply icing to the ends and place another wall onto the first wall. Continue using icing as mortar and secure the walls to each other, gluing them together as you go.
  • Squeeze icing onto the tops of the walls and then apply your roof. If you're going to apply a chimney, now is the time to do that. Go over all of the joints with more icing and then allow the house to sit for several hours while it cures.

After you've completed the structure, and you've allowed the icing to completely harden, decorate your house using all types of candies and food. Let your imagination be your architect and then take snapshots of your creation and share them with your family and friends.


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