You may remember our disastrous attempt at building a gingerbread house last year. We had a lot of fun with it, but it was NOT pretty. My friend Maribel saw our photos, and shared her brilliant gingerbread house hack. This trick is perfect for building and decorating with kids. We made ours yesterday, and had so much fun! (The best part? It was zero-stress!)
We started with a plastic grape container (or strawberry container, or any light plastic box, really). We flipped it over on a foil-covered baking sheet, then we taped on some cardboard pieces to make a roof. This gingerbread house will not collapse!
Then I whipped up a batch of royal icing and used it to glue digestive biscuits to the house frame. To make royal icing, mix together 375 grams of icing sugar with 2 egg whites and 1 teaspoon of almond extract. Mix well, until you get a good spreading consistency. I set out small bowls if icing and a bunch of candy decorations I bought at the supermarket. We used red and green gumdrops and licorice whips to decorate our houses, and marshmallows, whole cloves and pretzels to make our snowmen.
The girls LOVED decorating their houses! They also loved eating the decorations as they went. 🙂 And since our houses had a sturdy frame (and I hadn’t spent hours baking and assembling the gingerbread), I didn’t have to stress out about any houses falling down with tiny hands trying to decorate.
We still might make a real gingerbread house later this season (I saw an excellent example of a chalet-style house that seems much more structurally sound than what I attempted last year!), but I’m really happy that the girls got to make and decorate their own easy version. I think this cheat will be in our repertoire for years to come!