Making a gingerbread house with my daughters for Christmas was top on my to-do list this year. This Friday I took the entire day to plan and create our first from-scratch gingerbread house. It was just as much fun for me as it was for the kids.
I used this template from Martha Stewart. I held sheets of paper up to my computer screen and just traced out the pieces. I used my own gingerbread recipe. After my dough had hardened in the refrigerator, Bella and I rolled it out and cut out the large pieces for the house as well as smaller trees and add-ons like triangle bushes and flower boxes for under the windows. We baked it and then let it cool. Any gingerbread recipe will do as long as the gingerbread hardens after baking enough to assemble the house.
The basic frosting recipe is one I use for sugar cookies because it hardens nicely and tastes great. I used a double batch of this frosting. I left most of the frosting white but scooped out a small amount to tint green for our trees and such.
4 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Foil and frost the garden or lot for your house first. I used my hot glue gun for the house assembly because my children and I would not have had the patience to wait for the frosting to dry and harden enough for decorating. The glue worked out really well. It may not be edible but it was a piece of cake. Martha suggest a caramel syrup is used that hardens nicely. Ingredients like corn syrup and brown sugar are at a premium in my kitchen right now. I didn't want to waste ingredients on a for-show-only project.
We did use frosting to stick all the trees in the ground and for placing the candy on and around the house. We touched up the shingles and other white piping at the very end. The icicles were my favorite part.