Baking is supposed to be a labor of love and a gift that involves more love than dough (the green kind), but the truth is time is money. So if you spend two days in the kitchen on one project… well that’s a lot of resources even if it’s just your time.
If you try and buy these cute little houses they usually cost a small fortune, and if you’re like me probably don’t have room for more than one in your budget.
Even more for the decorated ones!
Here is a little trick my mother-in-law taught me: gingerbread houses made out of graham crackers. It’s fast, easy and cheap! My boys usually like to invite their friends over every year to decorate these little houses. Making them out of graham crackers allows me to make one for each child to decorate and then each child gets to take one home. All this with no baking! They’re still very edible, and every year it’s been a huge success!
Easy Homemade Gingerbread Houses!
You will need:
- Graham Crackers
- Candy and Icing for decorating
To make the glue, take some sugar and place it in a pan. I like to use cast iron.
Place it on the stove over low-medium heat.
It takes a minute for the sugar to melt. I know there are a lot of recipes that call for you add something to the sugar. I find the best and fastest glue is just straight sugar.
Don’t walk away. Although it takes a minute for the sugar to melt it can boil over fast and it is a mess to clean up. (Ask me how I know!)
I like to construct the gingerbread houses on extra large paper plates so the kids can use coconut to make snow and make things in the yard. You only need six crackers per house.
To make an angled roof cut an already halved graham cracker in half at the diagonal. This sounds harder than it is, the trick is to use a bread knife and saw, not chop.
You can make your house any size you like. I make the smaller houses for the kids to decorate on their own and then a bigger house to decorate as a family.
To begin construction dip crackers in hot sugar glue.
Use two long rectangles and two short rectangles to make the base of the house.
Glue both triangles on and hold until cool – a few seconds.
If you’re making a bigger house it’s helpful to construct your walls flat…
And then connect them.
Now, it’s time for decorating!
If you are making a small house for a gingerbread decorating party, buy the candy with the cleanest ingredients, as little one like to eat a few pieces as they decorate. Otherwise, if your gingerbread house is just part of your Christmas decor then the sky is the limit on what you can decorate with. We still try to stay with clean ingredients to support those who make organic and natural products.
Finishing the roof.
Decorating the wall.
Adding a fire so the gummy bears can stay warm.
We tried to lean a Christmas tree against the house but went a little crazy with the frosting. The peppermint well looks just right on the side of the house, and instead of losing all the details on the Chocolate snowman we decided to leave him not frosted.
Use coconut for snow and you’re done.