Saturday, December 24, 2011

the cheater's gingerbread house

Last year, I thought that our kids had tired and/or outgrown the traditional building of the Christmas Eve gingerbread house. We have made a gingerbread house for many, many Christmases. So I changed things up and took the stuff to decorate snowman cakes instead. Big mistakes. They decorated the snowman cakes, but they reminded me this year that we needed a house, not a cake. So made certain to have materials for our cheater's version of a gingerbread house.

We don't use gingerbread at all.

I go to Dollar Tree or Dollar General and buy graham crackers, some cookies, and several kinds of candies. After opening presents, we usually have a box close to the size that we need - yes, a cardboard box. This year, we used a small shirt box to modify the top and give us a slanted roof. Some years we have a flat roof with turrets like a castle.

I mix up some royal icing while the kids discuss a plan for decorations. The decorations are determined by the size of the box and the types of candies on the table. We usually have graham crackers as wall covering; broken cookies work well too - they give a stone effect.

Some years we have a yard around the house and decorate it too. There is quiet a bit of candy eating during the decorating process. This year Natalie discovered that she likes the taste of the royal icing, but does NOT like butterscotch.

natalie missed the group pictures so that she could go home and prepare for santa

When we are finished, some have a sugar rush, all of us and most of the kitchen counters are sticky, and Nannie has a gingerbread house to show-off. The house is never perfect - but the memories certainly are. As we worked on this house they discussed next years plan - a log cabin out of fat pretzels.

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