Christmas is defined by traditions. Making gingerbread houses has been one of mine.
It began years ago when a friend from school gave me the instructions how to make them. These little hand-made ornaments became an instant hit with my first graders — and from then on I had to make them every year. What I liked about them is that each child had something to take home and share. What I didn't like was having to cut graham crackers to make the houses. I don't know how many late nights I was using inappropriate language while assembling them. I made the houses for my first graders and they decorated them with pieces of candy. Each child would get a bowl with small pieces of candy, some for decorating and some for snacking, Each year, it turned into a fun and joyful activity.
After I retired from teaching, I would volunteer and often do them in different schools. Wrapped in foil and put in a zip lock bag, these gingerbread houses will last for many years. They are edible, but if you give the children enough extra candy and graham crackers, they are happy to use them for decoration. I think if you make them at home with two or three children (not 20 or more like I did in the old days), you can do all the steps with the children and have fun. While assembling the houses, make sure you add the bow for the hangers. The frosting will keep covered at room temperature for several days.
For this post, I revised the size of the gingerbread houses. I made them larger, only having to cut the gable for the roof. The graham crackers are easier to assemble and cut if you leave them unwrapped for a couple of days. Divide the candy for the children into individual bowls for each child , leaving about half for snacking.
I had planned to make them with my girlfriend's grandchildren, but it didn't work out. So here I was having to decorate them myself. Oh well, you can see the results on the photos ... need I say more? I will deliver whatever is left to my girlfriend so that she can make them later with her grandchildren. Children are so much more creative, if you just provide them with the right tools, which in this case is a lot of small candy. Some of the candy I bought was too big, so the smaller the better.
Plan on buying at least two packages of graham crackers, because a lot of them will break.
Let the children have fun! These little houses makes a precious gift for grandparents, aunts and uncles, or neighbors.
If you are still looking for a cookie recipe, my Vienna Vanilla Nut Kipferl are a wonderful treat. My Hazelnut Meringue Cookies are light and easy to make. If you want to impress people with your cooking skills for the holidays (or any other time), try my French Country Paté.
You'll need a small cone with a small tip and bag for putting the icing on the crackers, parchment paper, a razor blade or small sharp knife for cutting the graham crackers and some ribbon for the hangers.
WELCOME TO SUNNY COVE CHEF
Thank you for visiting my blog. My two passions are cooking and traveling. Traveling exposes me to a wide variety of food and experiences. I walk around cities looking for markets, restaurants, bakeries, shops, you name it, and if it is related to food you will find me there, tasting, smelling, talking to vendors, and having a great time.