Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gingerbread Houses

About a week ago I posted some of our family traditions, which include making gingerbread houses. Several of you requested that I post the finished products, and I am happy to comply.

On Monday night we had my daughter and her husband, my son and his girlfriend, along with her stepfather, mother, and brother, and my youngest daughter participate in the annual decorating of the GB --- as they have dubbed the event on twitter. My husband and I tried to ensure that everyone had enough frosting and goodies to complete their project.

The ante has now officially been "upped" in the Gingerbread House event. While the "typical" house would include two pentagons for the front and back, two squares for the sides, and two rectangles for the roof --- many participants this year decided to cut their own shapes for a different gingerbread look. But I am getting ahead of myself. On Sunday afternoon I rolled, cut, and baked 8 different houses. I usually do this at least 24 hours in advance so that the gingerbread has a chance to set and somewhat harden.

On Monday afternoon I went shopping for all the decorating goodies. These tend to vary slightly from year to year, but typically include:
  • Frosted Mini Wheat cereal -- makes a great thatched roof; or hay
  • Tootsie Rolls - makes great logs stacked on the side of the house
  • Green Gumdrops - makes perfect bushes to decorate with snow along the perimeter of the house
  • Necco wafers --- good for a roof
  • Red Licorice bites - also good for a red tile roof effect - or a chimney
  • M&Ms --- all around good decorating
  • Jelly Belly (ice cream assortment) - these particular colors make great sidewalks or stone effects for the side of a house
  • Stick Pretzels -- make a great fence or just good all-around building material (I forgot to buy these this year and was made aware of my faux pas. It will not happen again)
  • Nerds - or other small candies - make good Christmas Light decorations
Of course the sky is the limit with candy decorations - but these tend to be our favorites.

As I mentioned before, this year we got into the sculpting of gingerbread as well as the simple candy decorations. One made a rather clever in-ground house sculpture; my son-in-law made a pick up truck, my daughters made an adobe style house, and my son and his girlfriend put their houses together and made a "ranch" house (hmmm....I wonder if this was a subtle hint that they plan to eventually live together?? -- eg --- an engagement is in the near future?)

Ultimately I think fun was had by all. Decorating lasted nearly two full hours, and many laughs were shared. It is always a great time - and I am so glad that this tradition has continued after the kids have grown. Although I do wonder how many houses I will have to make once grandchildren are on the scene?!


  1. What fun! We're going to Grandma's this afternoon to decorate gingerbread men and a (only one!) house.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Molly!

  2. Molly, that is such a fun tradition. I like hearing about the various candies you used for your decorations. I'll bet you now look at candies in a different way - more than do they taste good.

  3. I don't think I have ever decorated a gingerbread house. I'm glad your family continues to have so much fun with it!

  4. I've never made a gingerbread house, but it sounds like such a fun time. You'll definitely have to continue the tradition with your grandchildren.

  5. That's so wonderful! I can't believe you all managed to make that cos' it certainly doesn't look easy. I'll have to try this sometime!
    Have a Merry Christmas!!!

  6. What a nice tradition Molly. The end result looks beautiful too.

    Happy Holidays to you and yours.

  7. These are the memories your children will eventually tell their children. When grandchildren do arrive, you'll be one of the best grandmas out there, that's for sure. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  8. What a great tradition. And I love all the items you have to decorate the house!

    Happy Holidays!

  9. I've done only a couple of gingerbread houses in my lifetime, and they're tons of fun. Glad you've made it a tradition. I wanted to do one with my daughter this year, but it seems the holidays came faster than we'd expected!

    Diary of an Eccentric

  10. That is an amazing gingerbread house, Molly, well done! I don't think mine have ever turned out at all. :)

  11. What fun! Reminds me of the cookie and pretzel rod decorating my family does together. I opted not to do the pretzels this year and have heard no end of it. I guess the traditions are really the most important thing to the kids as they grow.

  12. Sounds like fun! Wish we could have been there!

  13. Your house looks great!!!! I just did a post on a GB house Mr. Jenners and I did years ago ... and it doesn't look nearly as nice as yours but we had a ton of fun with it. My problem is always the icing ... it never hardens right and then it all falls apart. I just want it to stay together so I can stick candy on it!!!

  14. What fun and your house looks awesome! I'll have to try it some day.

  15. Sounds like such fun! We sent our nieces & nephews gingerbread houses to decorate last year. What a great tradition.

    Merry Christmas!


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