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Gingerbread Houses, what fun!!It is best to plan for 2 - 3 days to make a gingerbread house.Day 1: Make the gingerbread and refrigerate it this will make the dough easier to work with. Recipe below. Also make any other gingerbread pieces you will need, such as gingerbread men.
Day 2: Cut and bake the house pieces. When cutting out the shapes for the house, cut out the windows and then cut them in half to make shutters. Once the gingerbread pieces are baked and cooled, assemble your house, using the recipe below or alternatively you can use melted sugar, which works very well for the cement. However do not use if children are doing the assembling. (Melt sugar over med-low heat in heavy pan until sugar has melted. Take extra caution with the sugar and it if very hot and burns easily.) Let it harden overnight. ( Cut sheets of cardboard and cover them in tinfoil (one for each house being decorated). We set the assembled house on the covered cardboard and use the rest of the space for the yard. You can also use plywood pieces, trays or cookie sheets, covered in tin foil.
Day 3: Decoration Day - The fun day we have been working toward! Decorate the house and yard, make it spectacular and unique.Ideas for creating and decorating the Gingerbread House and Yard: Ice-cream cones turned upside down and iced with green icing make great trees in your gingerbread yard When cutting and cooking the gingerbread house, use cookie cutters to cut out people and trees, then decorate and place in the yard Use lots of white icing for snowDecorate with a variety of candy, dried fruit (think apples, pineapple, apricots, papaya, melon, orange slices, pomegranate seeds, and nuts and seeds (cashews, pecans, almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc for a healthier version With a pastry bag pipe borders around the doors and window Drip icing from the roof edges to create iciclesMake fences from round pretzels, licorice, cookies, or candy