How To Make Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses
A Gingerbread House Party
We have had a gingerbread house party the first Friday of December every year since 1995. I am not exactly sure how it got started but we have always invited the kids friends and it has always been the best party of the season!
The trick to it is to have many varieties of candy for decorating and make the gingerbread houses ahead of time so that they have had time to dry completely and are sturdy. Be sure and make a few extra houses to cover accidents...sometimes smaller kids, especially, will squeeze the houses and break them.
Have each family in attendance bring a few bags of candy so that it doesn't cost a fortune. Use foam plates to put the houses on so that the kids can take them home easily.
Have some non-sugary snacks like cheese cubes, crackers, and carrots with peanut butter to dip them in. This will help to offset the amounts of sugar going into the kids' systems from the candy! Apple cider is a good choice for a drink.
Other than that there is not much that needs to be done. The party will basically run its' self!
Note: All images on this page copyrighted (c) Marye Audet 2007. Please do not use them without written permission. Thank you.
Cutting the Crackers
Using the above pictures as a guide cut the graham crackers in the indicated shapes. The easiest way to cut them is to use a very sharp knife and use the tip to cut through the cracker. Too much pressure will cause it to crumble. Each house will require:
Read on the box to figure how many houses you can get from each box. Plan on at least one extra box to cover crackers that are broken in shipping or crumble when you cut them. To make 11 houses it took me 3 boxes of graham crackers.
Step 1: Glue the Base
For frosting "glue" you can use one of two recipes. Both seem to work equally well. I suggest the egg free recipe if you do not have access to organic eggs from someone you know. Raw egg products from unknown sources can carry food borne illness.
4 c confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
mix in enough water to make a paste consistency.
3 egg whites
6 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
water as needed to get the right consistency
Beat egg whites until foamy. Add extract and confectioners. Use water to get the right consistency.
Spread a good amount of glue on each edge of the graham crackers. Put them together as shown, gently holding for a few moments to allow the glue to begin to set.
Set bases aside for 30 minutes to dry.
At this point, with the houses made from rectangular crackers you will only need to add the two pieces of the roof.
Put a generous amount of frosting around the 4 edges of the first roof piece and attach it to the house at an angle, holding carefully. Do the same with the other side. Allow to sit until set.
This takes a little practice. You can do it!
Once the house is dry it is ready to be decorated.
Finishing Houses Made With Square Crackers
This is a little more complicated.
First, cover the bottom of a graham cracker with the glue and place it, glue side down, over the base of the house. Next, spread glue on the bottoms of the triangle pieces and place upright on the tops of the front and back crackers of the base.
Let dry for a few minutes. Now, carefully place the roof pieces on the roof, as for the house made with rectangular crackers. Again, this is a delicate process and it may take a time or two to get it right.
Once the house is together and has been allowed to dry for a bit, go back and cover any gaps, or any edges that are showing with the glue. Don't be afraid to use a lot of it!
Once the house is completely dry it is ready to be decorated.
Decoarating the Houses
Place the candy out in muffin tins, or muffin paper liners. I have found that this is the easiest way to keep it organized, easily usable, and separate. Place a large dollop of the glue on each plate and show the children how to put the glue on their candy and glue it to the house.
Be sure and remind them to be gentle!
Types of Decorations to Get
Square "grid" pretzels
Good and Plenty
Marshmallow trees and snowmen
and many, many more!
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