Thursday, December 20, 2012

Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses

No one in our little family of three has ever built a gingerbread house!  This means we had a new-to-us activity for the holiday season of 2012.  I quickly discovered that most gingerbread kits at the store have peanut/tree nut warnings, and contain ingredients we would prefer not to consume.  I felt overwhelmed when I thought about baking homemade gingerbread cookie dough for the houses AND our annual gingerbread men on Christmas Eve.   Besides, we weren't planning to eat the houses; just create and decorate them.  Therefore, I needed to come up with something a bit more "disposable".

An outdated box of graham crackers called to me from our pantry stash in the front hall closet.  I looked up a few how-to videos online for graham cracker houses, and soon we were on our way to creating our little "gingerbread" village. 

The websites I read recommended "gluing" the base crackers with icing to foil.  This helped to keep the structure steady.  Did you know that graham crackers can be cut using a serrated knife? We found this to be helpful when creating angles.

Placing the icing in a ziptop bag with a corner cut off makes the construction of walls and application of candy super easy.  We used Bottle Caps and Sixlets, leftover from Halloween!

My husband created some fancy scalloping with the icing on the roof of his house. 
Both "boys" enjoyed this impromptu holiday activity, while I had fun taking photos of their progress. 
Here is the recipe for Shiny Cookie Icing.  *note:  It does NOT taste good, so don't plan on eating it, just use it for "glue"!
In a bowl, combine:
2 cups confectioner's sugar
4 teaspoons light corn syrup
4 teaspoons milk (we used plain rice milk)
Stir until smooth, then pour into a ziptop bag.  Cut one corner off the bag, and use to pipe icing.


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