Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Gingerbread House Party

Making gingerbread structures (houses, trains, gingerbread men) is so fun and festive!  It smells great, tastes great, and looks great no matter how much artistic talent you have!

So I had a couple of friends over (Jared and Christina):  I made some eggnog, and while that cooled in the fridge we went to Michael's to pick out our kits and candies.  Christina and I each got a Wilton mini-village kit while Jared got the Duff gingerbread house (I ended up buying 2 Duff gingerbread house kits myself so I can make a village).

Because the kits all included very cheap and very few bland-looking candies, we actually used quite a bit that were not included in the kit to make our houses look the way they do.  We bought pre-made white, pink, and green icings - too lazy to make our own when taste does not matter.  We bought small candy canes, mini candy cane icing candies, red and pink sprinkles, and gingerbread man sprinkles.

The Christmas tree lights were on, we have our eggnogs, and played Home Alone and Elf in the background while we decorated.  After those two movies were over, I was still not done my five mini-houses though, so we put on a The Happy Elf (because it was streaming on Netflix), but we rated that one star because it was horrible.

First to finish was Christina.  Her houses were all very adorable.  While putting together our houses, we both initially thought the boxy house with the flat roof looks like an outhouse.  But once decorated, both our outhouses actually turned out really cute.  We both had a lot of trouble with the triangular house because it was difficult to handle without mushing your roof design or having the front and back of the house pushed in together.   I love all her houses, but I do think my favorite is her candy cane roof!  Its a miniature pile of candy canes, as much as would stick and pile on top of the little roof.  It looks very merry.

Jared finished second.  His house was really difficult to build (and I say this from experience after working with my two Duff kits).  The kit came with a cardboard that you have to build your house on top of because the cardboard had slits that helped hold the base of the house together.  Without the base I don't think the house would actually stay up because the heavy slanted walls and heavy large roof is quite challenging to glue together with icing that takes around 45 minutes to really solidify and hold.  I think Jared actually put together the base of the house then waited while watching the first half of Home Alone because he is an engineer and foresaw that the roof would just cave and fall into the house if the base was not strong enough. But even though he waited around 45 minutes before he put the roof on, his roof still fell in while he was decorating.

I actually originally only bought one Duff kit, but my roof caved in about 5 times making me like the house less because every time you re"glue" it there is a giant smear of icing on the gingerbread.  So thats why I went and bought my second Duff kit so that I can make a more perfect house.  What I ended up doing with my first Duff house after the roof fell in five times was: 1) Put together the house base on one cardboard, decorate it.  2) Put together the roof on another surface, decorate it  3) Let the house base and roof dry overnight separately before sticking it together the next day.

My second Duff house is currently drying top and bottom separately, and I will be putting it together tomorrow.  So pictures of my Duff houses will come on another day.
I am not sure whether you can tell from this picture, but the one on the far left is the house that looks like an outhouse when it was first built, but at the end it turned out to be one of my favorites of my houses.  I used candy canes to build a heart on its backside!   My Etsy posting has more pictures of these three houses so could see more pictures of them if you like.  I loved making the snowy roof!  It is really simple and it looks so wintery: You just get your white icing in an icing pouch with a simple round tip, and you squirt, drag, and pull fast to make the points.

Once again, the triangular house that aggravates me.  The faces of the house did not even fit the roof properly!  But I still love it =)  Cookies piled with icing piled with candies just look festive,  yummy, and cute no matter how poorly it seemed to have worked!

Oh and here is the Eggnog recipe:


  • 2 cups milk (I actually used 1 cup whole milk and 1 cup heavy cream because I ran out of milk.  It was delicious.)
  • 2.5 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whiskey
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  1. Combine milk, cloves, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for 5 minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until it looks light and fluffy. 
  3. Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs. Pour mixture into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil. Place in fridge and let cool for about an hour.
  4. Stir in whiskey, heavy whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and nutmeg. Refrigerate before serving chilled.  It will taste even better if you wait overnight for the spices to really come out.

1 comment:

  1. So much fun! Maybe we should have cropped the glue out of the pictures? I bet gingerbread traditionalists would frown but those Duff houses were not structurally sound. Where did you get the colorful Twizzlers, or did you paint them?