Every Christmas, my daughter and I construct a gingerbread house. Then we bring it to school to my daughter's class where it will be on display for a few weeks before Christmas. It gets raffled off on the last day of school before the Christmas break to a lucky child in the class. We enjoy the time together while we construct the house over a few days, and gives my daughter a sense of accomplishment. It also teaches her about giving and sharing the joy.
Over the next few blog posts, I will take you step by step in the construction of the gingerbread house, and hopefully be able to share with you my tips and secrets. Our houses have come a long way and are getting more detailed and elaborate. This year we are going to attempt a bridge for our rustic cabin in the woods.
Over the years, I have collected many photos and blue prints of gingerbread houses. I keep them all in a binder so we stay neat and organized. If you search the Internet, you can find many free patterns and directions. When I find a free one, I download it and put it in my binder. I have amassed a large collection, you will be surprised with what is out there.
The key to making the process fun and enjoyable is preparation. I can't stress that enough. I gather what I need over a period of time. If I am at the candy store, I will check out the selection and see if there is anything that may work with my design, purchase it and put it away until needed. Before I begin baking, I make sure I have all the ingredients in the house the day before. I also put my board together and make some decorations ahead of time, namely the trees.
First, determine what design or style of house you are going to construct. As I said, this year, my daughter chose a rustic cabin in the woods. I have a pattern for the cabin, having found it on the Internet a few years ago. I enlarged the pattern pieces on my printer to the size I thought would work for us. I printed them out on heavy card stock because I like to save them for future use. You can use regular paper but they would only be good for one use.
|ribbon on the side of cake drum|
Now on to the other things that can be done ahead of time, namely some landscaping ideas. This year we are attempting a bridge over water. I bought some small pieces of mirror at the craft store that we will use for the stream. Last year we did a pond and used blue tinted piping gel. We wanted to try something different this year. Now onto the trees which are probably the most labor intensive.
|2 different styles of trees|
That is far as we got so far but preparation is the key. Tomorrow we are ready to bake and then actual construction, which should be a breeze. Next time I will go over the mechanics of cutting and baking your pieces so that fit together well. Stay tuned.
If you would like to see more of our creations, visit my website, www.pattycakesncookies.com