A Little, Experimental Gingerbread House

A bazillion years ago—i.e., when I was a senior in high school—my mother and I made gingerbread houses as holiday gifts for my three favorite English teachers. It took an entire day, possibly an entire weekend, and I remember the experience with fondness. Perhaps unsurprisingly (since you know me by now), said houses were personalized for each teacher, even including, in the case of my creative writing teacher Peggy (who is still my close friend) (Hi, Peggy!) (and an excellent artist/designer/crafter herself) three gingerbread cat cookies, piped with her cats’ names and resting against the sides of the house.

I was thinking about what to do with my 7-year-old nephew when we’re in Maryland for the holidays, and I decided upon GBH’s once again. But I wanted to test the waters ahead of time to make sure that it would work.

I spent a fair amount of the day yesterday on this project, first shopping for ingredients and then rolling out the dough*, cooking it, cutting the shapes, piping on frosting** and affixing decor. I hadn’t planned the design and wasn’t quite clear on a vision, so what I ended up with is not quite up to my (admittedly redonkulo) aesthetic standards. But it’s cute and it’s finished, so here it is:

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

Yes, there is a Halloween bent. No, there is no door (and there aren’t any windows, either—we’ll fix that in MD). And yes, it is on the tall side. I’m going to slice about an inch off the height, I think.

Back/Side

Back/Side

Another view. I do like the candy corn at the bottom and the white chocolate chips lining the frosting. Also, our living room is rather dark and brooding on October mornings, isn’t it?

Another Angle

Another Angle

It’s a bit brighter if you look the other way.

Anyway, there it is. I’ll try to post photos of the ones we make over the holidays to show how they compare.

*I did not make said dough, even from a mix, which had been my plan (much to John’s horror). Trader Joe’s sells gingerbread dough! In the refrigerated section! It’s a Christmas miracle!

**I didn’t make the frosting, either. Although after a look at the ingredients list on the can I bought, I might just have to whip up the next batch. Because EW, partially hydrogenated oil (more than one kind!) and artificial flavoring. On the other hand, it’s not as though we’re going to eat the houses (Are we?). On the other other hand, finger-licking is inevitable and a big part of the fun.

BREAKING NEWS: GINGERBREAD HOUSE NOT STRUCTURALLY SOUND

Welp, that lasted a day. And then this happened:

Broke-Roof Mountain

Broke-Roof Mountain

Other side, same thing:

So Long, Eaves

So Long, Eaves

John says that the gingerbread was too soft. True, dat. I think the overhang was too long, too—and possibly that the slabs weren’t thick enough, which I was worried about going in. (It was looking as though I hadn’t bought enough dough.) Of course, gingerbread houses differ from actual houses in that when a slab falls from your roof, you get to eat it.

 

2 Responses to “A Little, Experimental Gingerbread House”

  1. Carey says:

    Hmm. Maybe you need some candy cane rafters and peanut brittle roof sheathing!

  2. admin says:

    Excellent ideas, both!

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