Saturday, October 17, 2009

Put Together a Halloween Gingerbread House

This is part two of a three part series on making your own Halloween Gingerbread House.
You can read the first part here: 
Bake your own Halloween Gingerbread House

You will want to bake your gingerbread houses a couple of days in advanced so they will dry hard. I typically lay them on a drying rack and cover with a paper towel. It is best to glue the houses together a day in advanced or at least several hours before you decorate. When you glue the houses together with royal icing you will want to make sure you give it enough time to thoroughly dry since you use a lot of icing to glue it together.

I use Wilton's Royal Icing Recipe for the glue. I like this recipe because you use Wilton's Meringue Powder 
instead of egg whites. I ended up making two batches of royal icing. First I made a batch of orange colored royal icing to glue the houses together. We used it for decorating since I still had about half of it left and then I made another batch of royal icing to make green, blue and purple colored icing. Wilton Icing Colors were used to color the icing. Halloween colors are pretty bright so you have to use quite a bit of color to get it to a bright shade. This was especially true with the orange as I used about 1/3 of a container.

After you mix your colors you need to put them into icing decorating bags or ziplock bags right away. Royal icing dries super quick. If you need to buy some time you can cover it with a damp paper towel. I used my icing decorating bags and tips because there were only a couple of us decorating. If you are having a large party just put icing into individual ziplock bags. What is great about putting the royal icing into ziplock bags is that you can make it ahead of time then store it in the refrigerator and clip the end off with scissors when it's time to decorate.
                                                                                                                   *click on photos to enlarge*

Now to the construction of the gingerbread house. First of all you will need a sturdy board of some type. My husband is a home builder so he can get me scraps and it doesn't cost me anything. You probably could use cardboard, but a heavy base I think is the best option.

Next, you will need to cover the board with foil.

Start by gluing a couple of pieces together. Use LOTS of icing, don't skimp! You don't want it falling apart especially while someone is decorating it or when they take it home! Use lots of icing on the inside part since it won't be seen.

Then glue on roof and chimney. I know it looks messy, but it is very difficult to do this neatly. This is the first one I glued today too, so the first one is always the worst looking.

Now you are ready for your party! Next post: Halloween Gingerbread House Decorating Party!

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