Monday, December 17, 2007

Teen Gingerbread Houses

So I had in mind that this was the year we'd get back to making gingerbread houses. There is just something so appealing about little cottages made of delicately scented cookies and studded with candy. I approached this project in three stages: I made a large batch of dough back here and saved and froze half. Saturday, while the babies slept, I made a template for the different sized pieces we would need and cut and baked those pieces. Once cooled, I placed the pieces for each separate house (enough for three--one for each of the teens) into a separate Ziplock bag and stored them overnight.
Then yesterday, Sunday, I made a big batch of royal icing and let the teens go at it. Looks organized, doesn't it? It turned out to be a huge challenge just to get those houses to stand at all--much less look pretty or appetizing! I hand it to them, though--all three kids were determined to make their houses stand and see the project through to the end.
In teen fashion no Christmas music was played. Instead they listened to Pandora internet radio. The upside of the whole project is that they got to do something Christmas-y all together, when they rarely hang out together at all, especially now with Jacob being almost eighteen and out and about more often.
By the time they were finished with all three houses it was too dark to photograph them. These are "in progress." I couldn't find seasonal looking candy so we made due with what you see here. Mental note for next year: buy candy early in the season. I couldn't even find gumdrops! Also we've made other notes for next year, especially noting that if we had only trimmed the edges with a serrated knife before starting (thus evening out the pieces and giving a nice porous gluing surface) things would have gone much much better. Discovered the ease of trimming the pieces just a little bit too late.

All in all it was a good experience. Next year I want to make one myself! And now we have a very "earthy" looking gingerbread village and it smells so good whenever I walk by.


Melissa said...

The good thing about gingerbread is that no matter how it looks, it always smells and tastes so good ;o)

Felicia said...

So cute. I've always wanted to try gingerbread houses :)

daisyjanie said...

Very nice! I am going to attempt this with my son and nephew, and I wasn't sure about drying times! Love the idea of trimming the edges for better adhesion. Thanks!!

Lina said...

Very impressed that you made them from scratch. I think that these are definitely a project for my children when they're a bit older - I don't think they'd last 5 minutes!