I'm kicking off this holiday season with a festive gingerbread house! Each year I try to make my gingerbread house a little more elaborate and difficult that the year before, this years gingerbread house took a week to complete!
There are so many pieces that need to be carefully readjusted with a dremel (thanks dad!) and then iced together and left to dry before constructing.
To begin, I found a terrific haunted gingerbread house with a pdf template to download and a basic diagram for construction that I used for the pieces. Once all the pieces are cut out of gingerbread and baked, the construction begins with lots of royal icing to glue the pieces together. Canned foods are great for holding up walls while waiting for the icing to dry.
The window panes are made of crushed butterscotch candies that are spooned into the window openings of the baked pieces then placed back into the oven for another 15 minutes to melt and spread. Let cool in pan for several hours or over night before moving.
The wrought iron railings are made of royal icing piped onto a piece of mylar plastic set over a template. The icing is left to dry overnight and then carefully removed from the mylar and glued to the house using more royal icing. The potted plants are made of gingerbread dough that I squished into a few metal icing tips that I had sprayed with Pam and baked in the oven for around 15 minutes.
The little pieces come right out of the icing tips and my dad used a dremel to cut the ends off to make "pots" and carved out a little indent in the tops to fill with more royal icing. The "plants" are red and green candy covered sunflower seeds. The evergreen trees are sticks of rock candy with the sticks cut off the ends.
The supports for the porch and porch roofs are cut candy canes and round candy pieces. I hope this years gingerbread house will help inspire your holiday baking. Here is last years house 2010, and 2009 here and here, and my first house 2008. Happy holiday baking everyone!