Tuesday, December 8, 2015

a gingerbread house that was hit by a candy snowstorm

I have never made a gingerbread house in my life. This weekend my mom, Kensi and I attempted to make a gingerbread house....from scratch. If you have been reading my blog for some time now, then you know I like to make a lot of things from scratch. It's a sense of accomplishment I love when something actually turns out well. 
We used the queen of all bakers, Martha Stewart, for a fool proof, to die for, Gingerbread. It's so delicious, we couldn't keep the fridge closed long enough for it to firm up because we kept sneaking bites; we think it’s the black pepper in it that gives it the perfect spice and keeps us coming back for more.
So after letting it sit overnight in the fridge, we cut all the pieces using her template and then some fun extras like mini gingerbread men, trees, stars and reindeer. If you do choose to cut and bake little mini pieces, only bake them for about 9-10 minutes because they brown up fast being so small. 

Martha's royal icing recipe calls for meringue powder. Honestly, I had never heard of it or knew such a thing existed, but you can find it online or at a Michael's or Hobby Lobby store. More than likely if your craft store carries Wilton, they will have it. This made the frosting shiny, firm and so pretty. 

I really wanted my house to turn out well. I’m a perfectionist and I can totally spaz out if I’m overwhelmed when I’m trying to concentrate and I have to admit, I totally did. I spased out on Mike, poor guy; but it was only because my whole house collapsed when I was trying to do too many things at once. However, once I got it back up and standing {btw, Martha’s tip of using water bottles to help hold the pieces up works like a charm} I was good! I got the hang of piping, which turned out to be pretty easy when you’re suing the right tip. My mom and I recommend a #1 tip and a #4 star tip along with some disposable pastry bags for ease of clean up.

We used a lot of different candies for decorating such as coconut, sprinkles, gumdrops, mini m&m's, snow-caps and itty bitty marshmallows {again, Hobby Lobby in the baking aisle}. We had so much fun decorating although I know I’m going to be finding sprinkles all over my floor for next several weeks MONTHS!
Like I said, I have never made a gingerbread house before and it has been many, many years since my mom has made one. We took different approaches to each of our houses. I assembled my whole house first and then added the frosting to the roof and other decorations, whereas my mom frosted her entire roof and then assembled it. Not good. The roof was far too heavy and kept sliding down, making all the walls collapse inward. It was a mess and just ended up like this....
Epic fail. This is the house that literally looks like it was hit by a tornado. But, it still tastes delicious, no doubt about that! Since my mom and Kensi's house was a fail, they made two little ones out of graham crackers. Evidently, Kensi really enjoys landscaping. She has the idea that more is more. The more the merrier! This the season to be merry, so why not?  
We really had a lot of fun creating these sweet houses, even the ones that were hit by the tornado and candy snowstorm! I can see this becoming a tradition and a recipe we'll use again and again. 
Sugar high anyone?!?! 

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