Saturday, December 20, 2008

How To Cheat On Making Gingerbread Houses

I love being crafty, and enjoy making things with my kids. But, with so much we want to do during the holidays, I start to run out of steam after a bit. A few years ago I started "cheating" when it came to making gingerbread houses; and the kids didn't seem to mind so I haven't looked back since.

How To Cheat on Making Gingerbread Houses:

1. most definitely, DO NOT BAKE GINGERBREAD. Spend that extra hour saved doing something else. Like, sleeping in for an extra half hour and washing your hair AND shave your legs in the shower.

2. Dig out all that old Halloween/Easter/Pinata candy they never ate. Use goldfish crackers, cereals, dry pasta- whatever you've got in the cupboards. Or, be a fancy mom and buy red and green candy. I doubt the kids will care either way.

3. Explain to the kids that the frosting we're using is good for making the pieces stick together well but it's got raw eggs in it, so they can't eat it. We'll also not be able to eat the candy we put on the house, it's all just for look because of the "special frosting". Have the kids separate the candy into muffin tins while you make the frosting. (mix 3 C. powdered sugar + 1/4 t cream of tartar, beat with 2 egg whites for 5 min)

3. Use graham crackers, and use the cardboard boxes from the crackers as a base for your house. Here's where we cheat- instead of spending frustrating hours trying to make the corners of your graham crackers stay together, and then have the roof cave in after all that hard work; use a box. Sharkboy wanted to get fancy and so we've taped together a few boxes to make a skyscraper.
Coat the boxes in Royal Icing, and then put the graham crackers on. Heck, you can skip the crackers all together and just add candy!


Sweetest Petula said...

your just like Martha Stewart, only a lot nicer.

babyhoot. said...

why thank you! I like to think I'm a nicer, more practical and realistic Martha. Although, having an assistant to sweep my floors every 30 minutes would be nice. :)

mom said...

what a great mom! look at the traditions you've created for your kids! and you're right, they don't care if you have the "perfect" candy to decorate with, they just want to be creative and have fun. we all need to spend less time doing "perfect" and more time just DOING!