How cool are gingerbread houses? You get to build a structure with food! That’s pretty hard to top in the fun food department. Sure, the ingredients might not be the healthiest, but chances are your kids won’t be eating it anyway. It’s more fun to keep the gingerbread house and look at it for a long time than it is to tear it apart and gnaw on stale gingerbread.
Many people we know go ahead and buy gingerbread house kits, but you can just as easily make the gingerbread on your own. We like this recipe and step-by-step instructions from Disney’s Family Fun. This recipe avoids the problem of having the walls cave in by building the walls around a cardboard “inner house” created from a shoe box. Hint: When you position the wall and roof pieces, hold them in place for at least a minute before letting go to make sure the pieces adhere properly. Also, don’t haul out the candy until you’re ready for the final decorations; otherwise your kids will start filling themselves up with the candy before any of it actually lands on the house.
Two quick notes about building materials: First, you don’t have to make it all about the candy. We’ve seen amazing gingerbread creations that make the most of pretzels, slivered almonds, cereal, raisins, and more. Second, if you don’t have gingerbread for whatever reason, you can use graham crackers for the house pieces. We have a friend who’s made beautiful creations year after year with graham crackers as the sole structural element – and you’d never know it from glancing at the house.
Have you made the best gingerbread house ever? Then put it up to the ultimate test: Enter it in the gingerbread contest at Food.com (there’s a house category and a cookie category).
Fun Food Saturday: Because food should be fun.