My 11 year old nephew, 17 year old niece and I each made Gingerbread houses this year to enter in my towns contest. I won for my age category (19 and over) and for People’s Choice! My niece won in her age category (11 – 18). Each of us spent a lot of time planning before we made the dough on baking day.
Rules: The theme was Sugar & Spice. The houses can’t be larger than 12 inches by 12 inches, only the base can be non-edible, and it can’t be a purchased kit.
Gingerbread Recipe: I used this recipe. It worked great last year. If you have time I recommend making it the night before.
Frosting Recipe: I did not want to deal with cracking and separating eggs so I used this recipe which uses Meringue Powder. It hardens fast and in works very well. But I do recommend gluing your house in sections and giving it time to dry and harden.
I had so many ideas for the bakery window that not everything would fit. The loaf of bread was a caramel square softened in the microwave for a few seconds. I then shaped it and cut some marks. The miniature Gingerbread cookies are sprinkles. I used candy melts for the plates. The small pastry balls are fondant. It was very easy to make peppermint candy cakes with royal icing and sprinkle decorations. I used a Rolo for another cake. Mini M&M’s outline the Gingerbread bakery window.
My roof is chocolate Twizzlers cut into pieces. I sprinkled some powdered sugar on top. I sided the house with sliced almonds and royal icing. The tree is a ice cream cone with dyed royal icing, mini M&M’s, snowflake sprinkles and other edible decoration balls.
My nephew and I went to the seasonal Gingerbread display at the George Eastman Museum. That is where I got the idea for the licorice roof and pumpkin seed wreath. I used green frosting from my Christmas tree instead of white frosting and I like the effect. The bow is pull apart candy.
This is the back of my Tudor Style Gingerbread bakery. I used root beer barrel candy for the barrel near the door. Both doors are made from fondant with a edible decoration ball for the door know. Chocolate candy rocks are the pathway. The windows are pretzel snaps.
A close-up view of the roof line.
This is my nephews Gingerbread house. I think it is amazing! He carefully planned out the details and made it himself with very little help. He painstakingly added small sprinkles to the roof of the Gingerbread doghouse!
Another view of the front yard. I loved how he used star anise for the star on top of the tree.
My nephew unwrapped all of the caramel squares for the wall by himself!
This shows the gorgeous Necco wafers candy roof and his candy wreaths that he made.
My 17 year old niece made this Gingerbread house. As I mentioned before, she won for her age category. She put a lot of time into planning and carrying out her plan. I love all of the little scenes! She baked crushed hard candy into the dough to create a Gingerbread girl window.
Since the contest theme was Sugar and Spice, my niece focused on Girls being sugar and spice and everything nice.
Outdoor scenes, including a skating pond.
This hot chocolate stand to accompany her Gingerbread house is amazing! She used chocolate wafer cookies and tootsie rolls.
My niece used gum paste to make this adorable snowman and another one in the middle of being made.
Her original plan did not work the way she wanted so at the last minute she made this Christmas tree out of part of an ice cream cone, used gum paste for the trunk and put it on a cinnamon stick sled with shoestring licorice handle.
The back of her house has a stone chimney (chocolate candy rocks) and cinnamon stick firewood.
I made this simple Gingerbread house bento for my niece. My nephew helped out by giving her a lot of mints.
Left Side: Gingerbread rice – packed hot Nishiki rice into a cookie cutter and pressed down with plastic wrap, decorated with spinach, rainbow carrots, and cinnamon candy, sauteed zucchini and red bell pepper in a little bit of olive oil and then added vegetable broth to continue cooking.
Top Right: Mints (enough to share)
Bottom Right: Clementine
We had so much fun making our Gingerbread houses. Hopefully we can enter the contest again next year.