Thursday, December 13, 2012

Making A Gingerbread House-Begin The Decorating

 I'm ready to start decorating.
I decided exactly where I wanted
to place my house, little out building
 and trees.
I marked them with a magic marker.
I am going to make a candy cane
fence that goes all around the
outer edge.  I calculated
 it would take about 50. 
These are very easy to cut with my
kitchen scissors.
I do it while they are still in the
package.  The kids loved to do this.
It took me a long time!
These will be ready when I need them.
I put the little end pieces in a
plastic bag
and pounded them till crushed.
Helpers might squabble over
who gets to do the smashing! 
 These will be tasty sprinkled
 on cupcakes or cookies.
I have my 3 trees ready to decorate.
I put each one in a shallow pan lined
 with a circle of tin foil.  They will turn
easily and the nonpareils will be
caught in the pan.
 Construction Royal Icing

3 egg whites
3 teaspoons (slightly heaping) cream of tartar
Enough powdered sugar to make a very stiff frosting
This frosting can be made in any
combination.  1 egg white, 1 tsp.
 cream of tartar and enough powdered
sugar to make a stiff frosting, etc.
Cream of tartar is a byproduct of the
wine making process.  The powder
forms inside wine barrels during
 fermentation.  It's generally used
in non-acidic food like egg whites
as a stabilizer.  In candy it creates a 
creamy texture because it keeps sugar
crystals from forming.  Used in frosting
it hardens faster, so your gingerbread
walls will hold together better and your
frosting will dry hard.  Used in this quantity
it makes the frosting bitter.  So, like
 the gingerbread, the frosting doesn't taste
 very good either.  That never seemed to
keep my helpers from trying it anyway!
Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. 
Add the cream of tartar.
Continue beating and adding
powdered sugar until it's
very stiff.  This is not stiff.
Continue adding powdered sugar
and beating.
 Until a dinner knife
stands up all by itself and doesn't
fall over.  That's stiff!
I put some of the frosting in
a small bowl & covered the remaining
I add the green coloring with a
tooth pick for easy clean up. 
 This is strong coloring and gets
I added color and mixed until
I liked the color.
I cover my frosting with a damp
cloth when not in use to prevent
the frosting from getting
a hard crust.
I use a turn table, but if you don't
have one the little pan will turn
A little lesson on "how to". 
Put the coupler inside the bag.
Place the star tip on the end and
screw on the cap.
To fill the bag with frosting turn
the top half of the bag down.
Load the frosting into the bag
 with a spatula.
Rolling up the
folded edges as you go.
 Don't over fill the bag.  Twist the end
of the bag.  This prevents the frosting
from squishing out onto your hand!
Place it in you hand like so.
Practice on a piece of tin foil.
Place the tip, straight up and down 
very close to some foil.
  As you squeeze
pull up.  Stop squeezing and continue
 to pull up.  You will make a star.
Place the tip horizontal to the foil,
squeeze as you wiggle the tip back
and forth and pull.  You make a
pattern like this.  I call it a squiggle.
With the round tip on the end of
the bag, place the tip
horizontal, squeeze and pull.
You will make a log.
Place the tip straight up and down,
squeeze and slowly
pull up, you make a snow ball.
I'm gonna make the whole
gingerbread house with stars,
 squiggles, logs and snowballs.  None
of them will be perfect. 
Kids can do this! 
 My nonpareils are ready.

I have green frosting and a star tip.
I placed the tip at the bottom of the cone.
Placing my free hand on the top of the
cone to hold it in place.
I made a big star.
I made stars all around the bottom.
Sprinkled with nonpareils.
I continued to make rows 
with sprinkles
till I got to the top.
I made a big star on top.
It's okay if you can see the
sugar cone between the stars,
that's called a tree trunk!
Little girls make very unique
trees, remember no 2 trees
in nature look alike. 
I need to reload.
Done with trees, I set them aside to dry.
I frosted the top of my base.  No need
to cover where the big house goes.
I smoothed the frosting in the marked
places so that my trees and out
building would sit flat.
I put a few splotches of frosting
in the empty space and
put the floor of the house down.
I need more frosting.
Time to decorate the walls and roofs.
I spread frosting on the little roof.
I made rows with the chocolate
nonpareils and poked them down
into the frosting.
 Ditto for the big roof pieces.
I have all the side pieces ready.
I am going to keep it simple.
I love the gorgeous brown color
of this gingerbread and I want to
see it.  If you give a side to 4
children with 4 different colors
of sugar sprinkles and nonpareils,
you will have a special house indeed.  
I stuck the little wreaths down
with a small blop of frosting.
I decorated around all the windows
with small snowballs and
sprinkled with nonpareils.
Crooked is just fine when it's
covered with sprinkles.
I made scalloped logs for the
 upper sections.  They are
crooked too.
(Is that cringing I hear?)
It was not unusual at my house
 to find sprinkles and nonpareils
well into February!
Cover your frosting with
plastic wrap, put on the lid
and refrigerate until needed.
I am ready to stop for today.
I have every thing spread out
to dry.
My inspiration.
Till next time.


  1. Fantastic work! Your inspirational piece is beautiful too.

  2. How I am loving your lessons on making a gingerbread house! Having never made one, I really had no idea how to begin. When I watch The White House Christmas this year, I will have a new respect for the workers who made The Gingerbread White House.

  3. What fun! Thank you so much for the tutorial on ginger bread houses.

  4. fabulous trees! so fun watch the progress...

  5. This is just so amazing. So much time and love put into it. I think I might be tempted to eat some of the trees and house before construction, it looks so good.


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