I picked up a Create-a-treat Gingerbread House Kit with my groceries recently, thinking the kids would have a ball assembling the gingerbread house and they would enjoy eating it later.
The gingerbread house kit comes with everything you need to assemble the house, including a tray in which to set it up. White icing serves as glue to hold together the house pieces and to attach the candy decorations. The kit also comes with a few decorations for outside the house, such as a gingerbread man and a Christmas tree.
Gingerbread house assembly instructions are printed right on the box with some illustrations. The Create-a-Treat website also offers some guidance, including videos.
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Unfortunately, we were tripped up right off the bat when the icing bag sprung a leak, so icing was coming out in two different places when we squeezed the tube. This made piping the icing into the correct places and in the right amounts almost impossible.
We never expected it to turn out looking like the picture on the box, which is a good thing, since our endeavor didn’t look anything like the lovely gingerbread house on the box. However, the girls had a fun time putting together the gingerbread house kit, and they hardly had the thing built before they wanted to eat the candy decorations.
We quickly gave up trying to attach the candy decorations using our impaired icing tube. I even tried using my fingers to dab on icing to make the candy decorations stick, but my fingers kept causing the house to fall apart. Not much candy ended up on the house, but it all ended up in the mouths of the young assemblers.
The gingerbread house pieces are tasty but extremely tough. We’ve been crumbling them into cereal bowls and letting them soak in milk for a few minutes before eating.
The gingerbread house kit was a fun rainy day project for the kids. If you try it, I advise spreading out newspapers on the work area ahead of time, since the icing is extremely sticky and there will be a mess. Clean up any dribbles on hard surfaces right away, since the dried icing is very hard to chisel off tables, counters and floors.
You might also want to consider reinforcing the seams of the icing tube with some duct tape before cutting into it. It’s challenging enough to pipe icing properly without it coming out in unwanted places as well. As you might have guessed, gingerbread houses, even from seemingly foolproof kits, take a lot of skill, patience and effort to build and decorate.
This post was originally published in December 2014 and updated in November 2016.
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