Helped Build a Gingerbread House Kit (350/366)

“I’m the Magical Man from Happy-Land, in a gumdrop house on Lollipop Lane!”
~ Homer Simpson

When I was a kid – I can’t remember exactly how old I was, maybe middle school – my mom helped me build a gingerbread CHURCH from scratch (my crazy idea – I had read about something similar and was fascinated with all the details we could create with edibles).  We found a template, made the dough, baked the cookies, made “stained-glass” windows out of life savers (they melt in the oven as the cookie bakes), used Necco wafers to shingle the roof and pave the “cobblestone” walkway, and basically made one of the most magical edible structures I’d ever seen.  It was SO much work (I even remember piping a tiny sugar weather vane for the top of the ice cream cone steeple), but it was so beautiful.  THANK YOU MOM for that epic memory.

Although I will always have fond memories of how awesome that project turned out, I think the scale of it and the difficulty kept me away from wanting to build gingerbread houses during all of the Christmas seasons since then.  I also have a tendency to make projects a lot bigger or more complicated than they need to be (surprise, surprise).  So this year, when the kids were over and my mom had purchased a gingerbread house KIT to make together, I was stoked!

This kit comes with everything you need to recreate the house on the box – nice, sturdy, thick and yet not totally hard cookie walls, a roof, a base, and tree:

Little sugar people and candies to decorate with!

And it comes with a box of powdered sugar to make your frosting with.  For this one, you need an egg and a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice.  It also comes with a plastic piping bag, so that’s cool (no tip or anything, you just snip the corner off).

First, we put a bit of icing glue into the slots in the base, to help secure everything down.

Then we put the sides in, and attached the roof.

This kit was neat in that the house was designed so that there were only four pieces to put together, instead of six like other houses might be (four walls and two pieces for the roof).  This made it a lot easier to build with a kid who really just wanted to get to decorating (and eating!).  After the house was made, we put the tree in.  The holes in the base really were cool – I wonder how many times things would have fallen over/apart without those notches!

With our house built and our tree in place, we got to decorating.

We had to remove the tree temporarily to get icing and nonpareils on it  – the icing is was pretty thick and hardened fast, so we dumped the nonpareils into a bowl, iced the tree, and smooshed it into the candy a bit.  Tada!

The Kid decided he wanted the dog in the tree (dog not pictured above – I didn’t even realize it was in there!), and the little girl was either in the window up top, or she was flying.  Ha ha ha!  The lady and the boy stayed on the ground.  It looked pretty cool!

After we were done, there almost as much frosting and candy on the Kid as there was on the house – there would have been more, but he did eat a lot of it, too.

Most of it did go onto the gingerbread, though.  Awesome!  It turned out great.

I had so much fun making this house and decorating it with the Kid and Mom (and the other Kid, who supervised from her highchair).  While this kit was bought at Trader Joe’s, if there isn’t one near you (or they’re sold out!), you can just pick up something like it at the grocery store or order similar pre-made kits on Amazon – Nick made this Gingerbread Christmas Tree last year and it turned out great – or you can throw a little baking in (but still not too much craziness) with a mold kit like this.  I really enjoyed being able to put the house together and decorate it without slaving away in the kitchen for hours making the whole thing from scratch.  While there definitely is a place for creations like that (and they can be super fun and rewarding as well), especially when you’re wanting to spend time with younger ones and enjoy the creative and simple fun of decorating, these easy kits are a great way to go!

Related Links:
Trader Joe’s
Wilton Pre-baked Gingerbread Tree Kit
Gingerbread House Mold

Comments
One Response to “Helped Build a Gingerbread House Kit (350/366)”
  1. Ying says:

    When the Kid gets older I’m sure he’ll want to make his gingerbread from scratch too! (Oh, then there’s be the other Kid who’ll want something special like you did!)

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