Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Finally: A Gingerbread House!

Yes, Virginia. There is a Santa Claus. And, yes, M&B, our gingerbread house will get done. (That is in answer to the 750 times they asked if we could make it, while I was vacuuming or preparing dinner, or when we were expecting company, or when it was 10 minutes before bedtime.) Well, the stars and the planets must have aligned last night because we were able to construct our very own edible edifice.

Step One: Open the PRE-CONSTRUCTED box of gingerbread walls made by Anna's Swedish Bakers, often found at IKEA. Ours came from Carolina Grandma.

Step Two:  Heat up the 1/4 tub of Duncan Hines frosting you were keeping on the top shelf of the fridge for just the right occasion. Pour the microwaved frosting where you need to attach walls and the rooftop.

 This step is a lot easier if you have a handsome architect on hand.

Step Three: Patience! Let the walls harden so the house doesn't implode when you try to decorate it!

Step Four: Open all the mini packages of colorful candy that mom didn't consume you saved from Halloween. Sample every package you open to make sure the gummies and m&m's are still fresh! :) 
Step Five: Have at it! Get your frosting spreaders and decorate from north to south, east to west. 

  Step Six: Smile with your sister and your finished product!

If you have no Duncan Hines frosting in your fridge or pantry, this is the halved recipe from the Domino's powdered sugar box that I used for Day 2's "mortar". (Didn't think I needed the full recipe which is supposed to be enough to frost a 2-layer cake.) I urge you to splurge on GOOD vanilla. I used Costco's Kirkland brand 100% pure Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla and the result was divine!

All it takes is 1/2 of a one pound box confectioners sugar; 1/4 cup butter; 2 Tbsp milk; 1 tsp vanilla.
Don't bother sifting the powdered sugar. It will be mixed with a hand mixer. Place all 4 ingredients in a medium bowl, then mix on LOW speed (to avoid the powdered sugar dust cloud). If the final product is too stiff, add a mini, mini, mini splash of milk from a teaspoon until you reach the desired consistency. But remember, you don't want the end product to be too moist, because it will take longer to harden.

Anyone else make a gingerbread house this year?

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