Gingerbread House Tips & Tricks

gingerbread houseBaking gingerbread houses and then decorating them is a popular family tradition in America with a rich 200-year-old history. It is very easy to build your own gingerbread house – just follow the tips and tricks given here. Your kids can build a gingerbread house too—it’s that simple. When they do, be sure to take photographs, because it’s such an awesome accomplishment!

Here are some useful gingerbread house tips & tricks you can use…

Tip #1. Let’s start with the design. Pick a simple design, such as an A-frame house, which consists of a front, back, and roof. Not only is an A-frame house simple to make, it is also quite sturdy. You can also choose a basic house design with four walls and a roof – six pieces in all.

Tip #2. Pick a recipe that’s easy to make. You want a recipe that doesn’t have to be chilled as that slows down the process considerably.

Tip #3. Roll out the dough directly onto parchment paper rather than rolling out the dough, cutting the pieces and transferring to a baking sheet. That would distort the gingerbread completely and even tear it. The resulting piece is likely to be fragile and easy to break.

Tip #4. Bake as much as possible – in fact, you should over-bake when making a gingerbread house. It’s okay to stick to the recommended baking time when baking gingerbread cookies – but that would give you a soft product. You want something stronger and sturdier for a house. That’s why it is important to bake the gingerbread until it gets dark brown around the edges. You can check if it is hard enough by using your fingers to press down on the gingerbread. You want the gingerbread to be firm, not soft like a cookie. Soft gingerbread won’t hold up the candy and the frosting. So, when you bake, don’t stop until the pieces turn really dark.

Tip #5. You should always use Royal Icing. You don’t want to use the frosting from a can. Instead of pre-made frosting, use Royal Icing as it acts as a much better glue to hold up all the pieces of the gingerbread house. The icing is like cement for the gingerbread house. The Royal Icing needs to be beaten well with the mixer to ensure that it is thick enough. Once prepared, it should be covered with a damp cloth—otherwise, it will simply dry out.

Tip #6. Remember, a fully completed gingerbread house will be very heavy. The gingerbread itself is heavy and when you add candy, it gets so much heavier. In fact, a fully completed gingerbread house can weigh up to 5 pounds. That’s why you want a sturdy base for your gingerbread house. You can use a couple of cake boards or Styrofoam as a base.

Tip #7. Allow the house to dry for at least a couple of hours before decorating it. You want to give the royal icing enough time to harden as much as possible. Decorating the house before the icing is totally dry would affect the structure badly. That’s why you need to wait a reasonable amount of time for the house to dry and the pieces to set before decorating it.

candiesTip #8. Kids love candy, and you cannot have enough of it! Have candies of all types, colors and shapes available—the more the merrier. Just go crazy with the decorations, and don’t stop until you run out of candy and other decorative pieces.

Tip #9. Baking the gingerbread takes a lot of time. Plus, it’s a complicated process and a lot of things can go wrong. And what your kids really love is decorating the house; they don’t really care much about the baking part of it. That’s why it makes sense to buy pre-baked gingerbread house kits from Gingerbread Traditions. This way, you spend more time decorating and less time baking, and the kids will have so much more fun!

Gingerbread Traditions, based in Oregon, delivers the most delicious gourmet gingerbread kits, shipped direct to you. Gingerbread house kits make fun and creative gifts for friends and family members of any age. Buy your own pre-baked gingerbread kits online today!