Sometimes you just gotta “roll with the punches”….. like when you spend the time to prepare dough to make homemade gingerbread houses…. roll the dough, cut out the pieces, bake them, re-cut the shapes in order to get square edges, and then realize that the darn things are too soft to ever hold together!
I could tell that things were headed downhill when I rolled out the dough, and it stuck so badly to the counter that no amount of flour covering the countertop would help. So I rolled out the pieces onto parchment paper, cut them out, and then pulled away the excess.
After the pieces were baked (for an even greater time than called for in the recipe), and after I re-cut each baked piece using the cookie cutter so as to create nice squared-edges, the pieces stuck to the parchment paper and were fairly soft to work with. Tasty-yes…. but they weren't going to stand well on their own. Luckily- my husband is the ultimate Mr.-Fix-It and constructed little cardboard boxes that he then glued the gingerbread pieces to…. using royal icing (which is a mixture of powdered sugar, egg white, and cream of tarter).
So now that we had the houses built…. it was time to decorate! With plenty of royal icing and candy!
We used M&Ms, mini-marshmallows, skittles, dots, peppermints, hershey kisses (both chocolate and peppermint striped), spice drops and gum drops. The kids were paired up with a partner (because really- do we need 6 gingerbread houses?), and each “team” came up with their own decorating game plans. Some were a little haphazard….
And some were a little more planned-out (they are MY kids, of course!)…..
But I think they each turned out to be perfect! Especially when placed on top of their little decorated platforms and adorned with some paper cut-out Christmas trees (designed by Daddy!) My last tip for you is to take a photo as soon as you are done…. because they won't remain in this beautifully decorated state for long….. candies seem to mysteriously disappear on a near-constant basis!