Monday, December 21, 2015

Quick Gingerbread houses made with graham crackers

Mary and I have been making these and she has hosted a Gingerbread House party for a lot of years. Every year, we have to remind ourselves of the steps, and this time I took pictures to help us remember. Here's what you need, for 10 houses.
6 egg whites
2 pounds confectioner's sugar
cream of tartar
1 large box of graham crackers made 10 houses. It takes 5 intact whole long graham crackers for 1 house. (there are 9 crackers per inner package. Allow a couple extra for breakage)
10 paper plates
A partner, this is a 4 hand job

Make a recipe of Royal Icing from the Betty Crocker red and white cookbook from about 1970.
3 egg whites, 1 pound confectioner's sugar, 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and 1 tsp vanilla.  Beat in the kitchenaid with the whisk attachment for 7-10 minutes until thick and fluffy. I put it into a gallon ziploc bag with a corner cut out for the piping tip with the large opening.
You will need to make another recipe of icing and put it into quart bags, about 1/2 cup each, for the house creators to use for the "cement" for their candies. Squeeze the air out and wait to cut open until they are ready to use, then clip off a corner and just squeeze it out of the bag.

Cut open the inner packages of crackers and use a sharp knife to slice one into 2 sections. They slice more accurately than they break.  Position the short end crackers so the seam line goes across rather than up and down. It will make your pieces fit a little better.

Pipe a line of frosting on the paper plate for the bottom of the end piece and up both sides
 then lines for the side pieces on the plate and across the other end. put frosting up the sides of both short end pieces to hold the sides in place.

 Have your assistant place 2 long crackers on the plate and press them gently down into the frosting line on the plate and into the sides of the short crackers on the ends. Hold gently for a few seconds until they feel like they will not fall.

 Put a line of frosting along the top edge of both long sides. Your assistant gets 2 more long crackers.
 press them against the top of the house and fold them toward the center.
 You put a line of frosting along the roof ridge.
 Press the top of the roof together and hold it for a few seconds. It will stay in place on its' own.

 The finished house