Home Sweet (Gingerbread) Home

Nothing makes a more impressive centerpiece during the holidays than a homemade gingerbread house Line-up that fondant, those candy canes, gum drops and more. It’s time to gather together to create something special for all to enjoy. When you are ready to decorate, pair up the evening with a cookie swap and you have a holiday hit! Get to know neighbors by hosting a cookie exchange and allow each guest to help personalize your Gingerbread Home Masterpiece. Here’s how to organize a cookie swap – get the checklist. Warning: Your home will smell tasty! To avoid immediate destruction of your grand creation, consider baking Gingerbread Cake with Butter Rum Toffee Sauce and serving German Mulled Wine and Hot Cider.

The Masterpiece: Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned baker and builder, here are a few building basics that can assist in your gingerbread house making endeavor:

Baking: Use this gingerbread recipe to get the kids in the kitchen, create some magical memories and start a new family tradition. This dough is easy to work with while the sweet smell of gingerbread fills your home.

image credit: marthastewart.com

image credit: marthastewart.com

Once you have the dough made you’ll need to choose a style for your home and make gingerbread house pattern by cutting out pieces of stiff paper. The sky’s the limit when designing your gingerbread home, here are a few creative residences that may peak your interest: Gingerbread Cottage, Hansel & Gretel’s Gingerbread House, Mini Gingerbread Houses, Swedish Gingerbread House, Pixie House, Simple Gingerbread House. Roll your dough, cut your patterns, bake and let dry.

Building: Whether you’ve chosen a flat, bungalow or cottage – you’re ready to start putting up walls and adding a roof. Royal icing is a smooth, hard-drying icing is perfect for the mortar that holds the gingerbread pieces together to form the house making as well as cementing decorations that last. Here are a few steps to smooth construction of your home:

Pick a solid base for your gingerbread house and line with aluminum foil or wax paper.

Pipe icing along the borders of the pieces, press together and hold in place for a few minutes. You can prop with cans if needed.

Fill in any gaps or add additional support with icing. Let set for at least an hour before attempting to add the roof pieces.

Add the roof, chimney and other accessories using the same method as above.

You can cement any broken pieces back together with a little patience and icing.

Invite Friends and Neighbors to Get Decorating:  Line-up your pick of all the colorful candy that you have selected to adorn your abode. Red Hots, small gumdrops, candy canes and hard candies are all great choices, you can use chocolate truffles for a stone wall around your house, and even some waffle-patterned cookies for roof tiles. Gum drop stained glass windows can easily be created using gumdrops, jelly candies, mini gum pieces and crushed hard candy pieces. You can add an interesting yard to surround your gingerbread project with these easy landscape ideas including popcorn, pine, candy cane, gingerbread men and gumdrop trees.

Royal icing is edible and can be used to make decorative designs around the walls of the house, a scalloped roof, as well as glue pieces of candy to the house.

image credit: Autodesk instructables.com

image credit: Autodesk instructables.com

If you’ve mastered the gingerbread house and still have a hankering for gingerbread baking, try these new twists on our traditional favorite: Gingerbread Train, Gingerbread House Pops, Gingerbread Martini Recipe, Gingerbread People.

The vibrant Bay Meadows Town Square will be the ideal gathering place with ground floor retail, outdoor dining, pop-ups and more. Modeled after European plazas, it will include a large central fountain as the focal point and will serve as an energetic and dynamic urban core with plenty to keep you occupied. Once Caltrain is electrified, the platform will be elevated and grade separations will be installed on 31st and 28th Avenues, which means the Town Square will be the perfect place to relax outside for a glass of wine or an ice cream after a day of shopping at Hillsdale Mall.

 

featured image credit: luluto.blogspot. jp