When I was a kid, my cousin Jaclyn as well as I would develop gingerbread homes at Christmas time. however not just any type of gingerbread homes — these were works of art! Or so we thought. influenced by our hero, Martha Stewart, we would crank up the Mariah Carey Christmas classic, “All I want For Christmas Is You,” as well as bake as well as embellish into the night.

We liked this Martha Stewart holiday special when she baked her impossibly lovely gingerbread home with miss Piggy.

Fast ahead 15 years as well as I chose to make a gingerbread home as part of a story for the November 2010 problem of home & Home. next to Martha’s pale blue mansion, mine looks pathetic, however I assumption it still holds some charm. like Martha, I made my home to look like a federal farmhouse, just like the ones I like in Maine (above).

Making gingerbread homes is a long custom with Jaclyn as well as I. Here’s exactly how we go about making ours:

To begin, make a batch of your preferred gingerbread recipe (or try home & Home’s). Make sure you chill the dough to ensure that it rolls out well as well as doesn’t get all flimsy as well as sticky. Okay, now on to the fun part!

1. very first I make a cardboard design template for the house. Each piece you see right here is utilized twice to ensure that you have four walls as well as two roofing system pieces.

2. next I cut out a sheet of parchment paper as well as dust it with flour. This makes transferring your huge cookie cutouts to a sheet pan much simpler — count on me!

3. Roll out the dough — I always get stressed out at this point since the dough seems to fracture as well as shift as well as not make a good rectangle. however you will get the hang of it. Be sure not to roll the dough out as well thin — it needs to be durable to develop your house!

4. next I utilize the cardboard templates as well as a paring knife to cut out the shape of the walls as well as roof. Making your own gingerbread enables you to cut out windows. If you tried to do this with a pre-baked kit, the walls would most likely crack.

5. when you’ve eliminated the excess dough, just pick up the edges of your parchment paper as well as transfer onto a baking sheet.

6. For the rear wall of the house, I utilize the exact same template, however avoid cutting out all of the windows. instead I utilize a teacup (or bowl) to cut out a round hole. This is so you can reach in as well as location a tealight inside the home when it’s all done.

7. Bake your gingerbread according to the recipe. Here’s a baked wall now — looking adorable already! It assists to bake the pieces a bit longer on a lower warm level to ensure that the pieces will be crisp as well as strong sufficient to stand. This would depend upon your recipe, though.

8. Here’s exactly how I make the candy windows — I crush up Life Savers! For this house, I only utilized white as well as yellow ones for an amber glass effect, however typically I utilize all the colours for a discolored glass look. just crush ‘em up with a hammer on one more piece of parchment paper. Oh, as well as utilize a cutting board since it may damage your counter.

9. organize bit rectangles of crushed candies on the parchment paper that are a bit bigger than the size of your windows. then pop them into a preheated 350°F oven as well as view them like a hawk. When they’ve melted into puddles, you can take them out. peel them off the parchment paper as soon as they’ve hardened. Leaving them on as well long will darken the colours. set windows aside.

10. Whip up some royal icing — the ‘glue’ that holds gingerbread homes together, as well as likewise what you utilize to embellish the house. comprise great deals — you’re going to requirement it! utilize some icing to connect the windows to the back of the front gingerbread wall.

11. Assemble the walls of the home as well as let dry before packing it up with candies. If you make the walls (and particularly the roof) as well heavy as well soon, the home may collapse! You can even assemble the home as well as leave it overnight before decorating, if you like. I typically can’t wait that long, though!

Here is the final product that appeared in the magazine:

For this house, I didn’t utilize a ton of candy since I desired it to feel grown up, however typically I’m rather generous with the decorating: a Hershey’s bar for the door, Smarties as shingles, bit mint leaf gummies for trees…

The roofing system tiles on this home are bit mint candies as well as I like the colour! The designs were kept to icing only, as well as bit silver dragées (which are the small silver spheres on the corners of the windows). since the designs were so light, I selected to embellish the walls as well as windows before I put together the house. That was a great deal simpler than embellishing the walls in an upright position.

The home was shot by Virginia Macdonald, as well as she truly made it shine! Oh, as well as speaking of shine, I lit the tealight inside the home for that glowy window effect. I have it on great authority that Jaclyn reads home & house in B.C. — I hope she approves!

For one more fun gingerbread project, try crafting these holiday Gingerbread Boxes to wrap up gifts.

Photo credits:
1. house For The holidays With miss Piggy, ViiVi.net
2-12. Michael Penney
13. home & house November 2010 issue, photography by Virginia Macdonald

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