This weekend the kids and I decided to have a little fun making and decorating a spooky gingerbread house. I have to say, when we started out on this task I was feeling a little overwhelmed as I’ve never built a gingerbread house completely from scratch before; plus I haven’t had a lot of energy to go around lately due to my pregnancy. However, I woke up today with a little spurt of energy and we were able to get everything built and decorated, and it was quite a bit of fun…and eating it was great too!
Building a Gingerbread House
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I was provided the Haunted House Cookie Cutter Set by Sweet Creations by Good Cook to help with our project. There was a recipe for the gingerbread cookie dough right on the box. Since I have never made a gingerbread house before, I figured I would just use the recipe that was included.
A few tips if you choose to do the same:
- The recipe makes just enough dough for the house in the picture. If you roll it too thick you won’t have enough to go around.
- The directions say to refrigerate the dough for 2 hours. Skip this step. Once you refrigerate the dough (as I did) it becomes very hard and rolling it is almost impossible. I ended up having to microwave the dough for about 20 seconds to get it pliable again.
- Once you bake your cookies and are ready to decorate and assemble, do the piping/decorating first. Let the cookies sit overnight to firm up, then assemble everything with royal icing. (I used the Wilton royal icing recipe halved)
- The royal icing works great for holding the house together once it is hard, until then you may need to prop your sides up using toothpicks or another device.
Gingerbread house building steps
Follow the recipe on the Sweet Creations box, or use your own recipe to make your dough. Once ready, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.
Cut out the shapes needed for the haunted house.
TIP: It is a good idea to roll out the dough ON the baking mats as the larger pieces are harder to transport there once cut out.
Once the shapes have been cut out, turn the cookies cutters over and stamp them using the design on the cutters. Don’t push too hard, just enough to transfer the design.
Place your cut and stamped dough on a baking sheet and bake according to directions. Be sure to watch the cookies so they don’t burn.
Once the cookies come out of the oven let them cool, preferably overnight but at least until they are no longer warm to the touch. Use piping icing, or any other decorations, and prep the cookies at this time. It is much easier to do it now than when the house is assembled.
Begin assembling your structure using royal icing as your ‘glue’. Until the icing dries your pieces will probably not hold together very well and you will either get very tired arms holding the walls until they dry, or get very frustrated. To get around this frustration find something to prop your walls up until the icing dries. I used toothpicks.
The walls may not line up perfectly, but they should be close enough that once the icing dries the structure will hold itself up. Do not add the roof pieces until the walls have fully dried. Once you feel that the walls are sturdy enough, go ahead and add the roof pieces once again using royal icing as the ‘glue’. Once the roof pieces are set you can also begin adding more decorations.
I thought the finished house looked good with a few creepy crawlies hanging around.
But the kids decided to redecorate by adding a bunch more candy. I think they were right…their version looks a little better. 🙂
Either way everyone enjoyed tasting our fun project when we were done!
So overall I have to say this was not an entirely easy process, but it worked out and was fun for everyone. The house took quite some time to be stable enough to decorate, and adding candy to it after it is upright isn’t all that easy. In the end the cookies tasted great, and we all had fun eating our creation.
Sweet Creations Discount Code
If you would like to create your own gingerbread house just like this one, or use any of the other Sweet Creations products, you can save 25% off any purchase at goodcook.com. This savings is valid for any Sweet Creations Halloween product. Use CODE: HAUNTED23
So tell us…
The Mommy Bunch was provided with a sweet creations kit to facilitate this post, all opinions are our own.