Gingerbread Houses for the Rest of Us
We know, we know…it’s June. Christmas you say? Right, we know. It’s in 6 months. Only 6 months. It’s right around the corner. Which is why June is the perfect month to plan, scheme and dream about gingerbread houses. With all this plan-ahead thinking, you have time to hone your skills so at Christmas you can make something like this gingerbread house. We don’t like to leave our customers out in the cold. We have compiled some hacks and tricks you’ve never thought of to make a gingerbread house that makes it through the season. And, don’t worry, some of these would offend Martha Stewart—they are easy and foolproof, no special piping bags and pastry tips for these houses. But first, for some inspiration, don’t miss our three gingerbread ornaments: the Gingerbread House Ornament, Gingerbread Church Ornament and the Cookie Cottage Ornament. They’re so cute you just want to eat them. But don’t. You’ll regret it. Here are our five best gingerbread house tips for those of you who fall short of Pinterest standards:
- Buy a kit. You want to take all the frustration out of it? Do it! There are so many fun and creative gingerbread house kits that come out between Halloween and Thanksgiving. You can get a reasonably priced, pre-assembled kit, complete with candy at Costco. We also love Trader Joe’s kit. You have to assemble it, but it’s an A-frame, so how hard can it be? Keep an eye out for other all-in-one kits from your local craft store and Target. If the candy in the kits doesn’t meet your approval, then add a couple bags of your own favorites. Better yet, scrounge your pantry for left-over Halloween candy. Reuse and recycle!
- Keep it simple. Instead of making your own gingerbread or wrestling with graham crackers that break and crumble or precariously form to a tiny milk carton, use saltine crackers or the ever-sturdy Petite Beurre cookies. Make a miniature A-frame, stick it together with some thick royal icing and since it’s so small it won’t take much candy to decorate. Give it a little powder-sugar dusting, and voila, you’re done.
- Bag the icing. You know what’s more reliable than royal icing? A hot glue gun. There are low-temp glue guns so you won’t melt your fingertips, but your house—with whichever medium you use—will stay standing for the holiday season. Glue on the candy and don’t look back. Give it a good snowy dusting with powdered sugar and even the most critical eye will never catch your secret.
- No sweat if it fails. Sometimes you give our very best effort. You use delicious, home-made gingerbread or you construct graham cracker houses with dreams of them looking like an award-winning abode or a Victorian-era mansion. But instead, your dreams crumble with your house and if it does, just add a dinosaur or a few construction vehicles and a couple rocks. Don’t toss it, just embrace the mess and let it be a dinosaur diorama or a demolition construction scene.
- Get out of the kitchen. Instead of something edible, Ginger Cottages will be sold directly to our customers from our website later this summer. Ginger Cottages are everything you can’t decorate or capture in an edible gingerbread house. Plus they don’t collapse, go stale or need royal icing. They capture Christmas nostalgia with themed, laser-cut designs that borrow light and illuminate hidden secrets and surprises. Ginger Cottages are your sure-fire road to gingerbread house success.
Once you’ve removed the pressure and stress of creating an inspirational gingerbread house, you’re free to explore and appreciate the exceptional, professional gingerbread houses displayed in many major cities, local bazaars and on TV or online. Though a breath-taking gingerbread house might not be created in your own home, give it your best shot, enjoy the process and appreciate the final results. There’s always room for improvement when you start to plan next June.