One of my favourite family traditions is the building and decorating of gingerbread houses. My mom, aunt, siblings and cousins and I would all contribute to these edible creations and we young ones would develop our skills and Christmas creativity. Here’s how you decorate a classic gingerbread house in my family’s style (prioritizing taste over style I’m sorry to say!).
Start with your constructed gingerbread house (this needs to be set firm so the weight of the candies doesn’t pull it to the ground). This year Sara and I opted for a pre-made house fully constructed for us by Bulk Barn. This is a great option if working with kids who want to get to the good stuff immediately.
Also pick up a selection of colourful and delicious candies and chocolates and mix up a batch of Royal Icing (egg whites, icing sugar, cream of tartar). I especially recommend buying a piping bag and tips because you can use them for years and years for lots of things.
Next using the piping bag pipe a few rows of icing stars as a way to stick Smarties shingles onto the roof.
Then attach your Smarties shingles. This multicoloured effect may not be designer approved but it is much yummier than the shredded wheat thatched roof or other pretty but tasteless options out there…
Now, using a smaller tip on the piping bag, pipe the outline of your shines. I’ve also added mints to the roof ridge.
Continue using larger and smaller tips to outline the borders and details of the gingerbread house. I also used some silver dregees in my decorative icing for some pretty detail. Note spear mint leaves make for excellent landscaping!
I like to elevate (literally and stylistically) my pre-made gingerbread house by putting it on top of a cake stand. Ice cream cones make for wonderful trees covered in some extra icing tined green…
And here it is all finished! Colourful, whimsical and delicious! So delicious that this one didn’t make it to Christmas day and was gobbled up yesterday during the ice storm here in Ontario. It tasted just as good as it looks!
Oh and don’t forget the pretzel fence – the sweet and salty combo is legendary!