Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Family Tradition

My sister's grandaughter Morgan and Aubrey working on their messy masterpieces

This year's gingerbread/graham cracker house making tradition was kind of a bust. The kids had lots of fun, but the grownups just weren't into it. The royal icing didn't want to get stiff enough, which resulted in a couple of houses imploding. Finally, on the third try we got a good batch and the girls were able to finish their houses.

Avery with her finished house. Her's turned out the best this year. The roof is covered with Smarties.

For those of you who would like to give this a try here are the ingredients and instructions.

graham crackers
powdered sugar
cardboard squares covered with foil for sturdy bases
assorted candy such as twizzlers, tiny size chiclets for walkways and christmas lights along roof lines, fruit stripe gum for window shutters, peppermints, kisses, m&ms, Hershey bars for doors, yellow fruit roll-ups for windows and blue ones for ponds
zip-lock baggies
We use leftover Halloween candy, coconut for snow, marshmellows for snowmen, anything you can think of.

Morgan's first house collapsed, but after we got the icing recipe right she built another one. It is quite cute.

Aubrey was mostly interested in getting hers as tall as possible.

Martha Stewart's Stiff Royal Icing:
Makes 3 cups
3 large egg whites
5 cups of confectioner's sugar

In mixer beat egg whites on low until frothy. Beat in 1/4 cup of sugar. Add remaining sugar and beat on high until mixture holds a peak and is very thick. 5-10 minutes. (if the icing is not very very thick and dry add more sugar and beat well)

The little dude climbed up on a chair and got in on the fun.

Daddy wasn't so sure about a dinner of candy.

Mmmmm, good!

Using a cake knife cover each base with 1/4 inch of icing. Next, spoon more mixture into zip-lock bags and snip off a tiny edge on a corner forming a piping bag for each person to use. Pipe a thick line of icing and begin to build your house. Be sure to glue every edge together with ample amounts of icing. Then add candy and decorate until you have the best candy house ever!


  1. How sweet! Your family is just so beautiful! Well, sounds like your family and a few other families, right? At any rate, I'm with Aubry. I was always most interested in having the grahm cracker mansion. :) I'm sure they'll remember this for a long time to come!

  2. This is a wonderful tradition! The houses all turn out different and that's what it's all about! I want to make one!

  3. Maybe the second round of house building (in Texas) won't be such a bust. Looks like a good time was had by all. My kids would go bonkers to get their hands on all that candy.

  4. And a good time was had by all! Such happy faces.

  5. Beatutiful family and pretty little houses they built!

  6. What a great idea to make gingerbread houses. Pity the adults never joined in. Spoilsports. - Dave

  7. Yummy! Playing with food is wonderful, and the houses are very pretty!

  8. Those are wonderful! I know what we're doing this weekend!!

  9. Great fun!!!The kids must have been in 7th heaven.

  10. What a fun tradition! I'd probably eat more candy than decorate with --lol! Both the childrena nd the houses are adorable!

  11. Little master pieces. How proud each child must of felt about their beautiful houses! Great memories for you, too!

  12. Holy Cow! I would make a total mess of that. The houses were so cute and yummy looking! :o) ♥ ∞

  13. What a fun party! I'm planning to do this with the kiddos~and I may let them invite a few friends, too. The more, the merrier, right?!

    Have a great trip!

  14. Great fun! You can feel it in the post.

  15. Royal icing can be very tricky. I remember that well. Those houses are cute, but their sweetness can't compare with those kidlets' faces.

  16. You've been given a blog award:)



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