Non-Gingerbread Gingerbread Houses

There is nothing like baking to bring out the Christmas spirit. This year I decided to make homemade gingerbread houses (without the gingerbread). I got the idea from my friend BreeAnn. We are not really fans of gingerbread but we still wanted to be able to eat the house. So on Christmas Eve, we sat together as a family and made non-gingerbread houses and I felt like myself again.

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Non-Gingerbread Gingerbread House Recipe

Preparation: 1 hour

2 Boxes of Honey Maid Graham Crackers

  • 1 house is 6 sheets
  • 4 full sheets
  • 1 sheet broken in ½
  • 1 sheet broken in ½ and then each ½ is cut into a triangle

Disposable Icing Decorating Bags (as many as you need)

Royal Icing (without eggs)

  • 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of meringue powder
  • 6 tablespoons of water

Different types of small candies

  • Examples: Skittles, Smarties, Gummy Bears, Mints, Sour Patch Kids, Mike & Ikes, Gobstoppers, or Jawbreakers

To begin, I got the gram crackers and prepared them. I broke them into the correct amount of pieces. The hard part is cutting the triangle pieces. You have to use a serrated knife and you slowly shave down the cracker in a straight line until they separate. Just be careful not to push too hard because you will crack it in half and you will have to start all over again. I went through quite a few crackers for this process. It takes patience.cutting

The next part of the process is to make the Royal Icing. For this process you must bag it as soon as the icing is made. Royal icing will dry out if it’s not covered. The air dries it. So if you don’t bag it then cover the bowl it with a towel. You put the sugar in the bowl, sift the meringue powder on top of it, and then add on the water. Blend it together until it’s a solid form. This should take about 5 minutes. Place the icing into the disposable bags. Make sure to have enough bags that everyone can have their own.

Take one of those bags of icing and use it to glue each house together. Make the bottoms of the houses first. Let the icing dry and harden. Then start the tops of the houses. By the time you finish the 3rd or 4th house …the 1st one should be ready. Once all of the houses are built then you let them stand for at least 30 minutes. This will give the houses time to harden so when the kids decorate, the houses do not fall apart.houses

Put all the candy onto a dish and take it all to the table to decorate.candy

Man!! I love baking! Even though I didn’t really “bake”…..it felt like baking. Today was a good day!

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Halloween Cupcakes

 

photo 1 - Copy (2)I baked! I baked! It has been so long since I baked that it almost felt a little forced. I wasn’t as comfortable in the kitchen as I am as used to feeling. It could be because I’m a little rusty or it could have been because my son was in the kitchen helping me. Don’t get me wrong…I like to bake with my boy but I also like to have a clean kitchen when I bake. I like to take my time and take pictures. But instead I got kid fingers in everything and flour everywhere.
I have to admit that baking with him was fun. It took twice the amount of time and it was messy but it was great hearing his screams of enjoyment and his excitement to eat something he created. And with the end product….it was all worth it.
This time I made 2 different types of cupcakes. I just used a simple white cake recipe.

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White cake

  • 5 egg whites
  • ¼ cup butter milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Mix in a bowl and set aside.

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ cups of cake flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp meringue powder
  • Food coloring (if you want colored cake)

Mix the butter and sugar until creamy. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Then add the coloring if you want colored cake.

Take note: you don’t want to mix your cake too much. It will make your cake come out dense. Be careful when adding food coloring. You will have to mix it a lot to add the coloring to your liking….so try not to do it too much.

As for my frosting I used:
Wilton’s Vanilla Buttercream

So for this project I made Halloween cupcakes. I saw a lot of the candy corn cupcakes online so I thought I would give those a try. And then my boy wanted to make some pumpkin cupcakes. So we did a mixture of both.

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This was a great kid project and they taste pretty good too!