Gingerbread Houses!

So I decided that this year instead of buying the gingerbread house kits I would try to bake my own. I was afraid that if they held the kits over from year to year and the kids wanted to eat them, they wouldn’t actually be all that edible. Thus I baked them from scratch. I didn’t like the jelly beans that came with last year’s kits anyway and wanted to pick my own candy this year.

Honestly, I still don’t know if this was worth it. Both kids wanted to help mix, but Alex was not content with the whole Beth does hers then you do yours and suggested we do both at the same time. Which in retrospect was probably a good idea, but it was a pain when we did it.

Fortunately I have two bowls and two beaters for my mixer. So first we measured and creamed together Beth’s sugar and butter. Then we did Alex’s. Then we mixed in Beth’s molasses and eggs. Then Alex’s. Then we measured, back and forth on each ingredient, the spices and part of the flour. Mixed that in. Then came the adding of the rest of the flour. That had to be done by hand, so the kids only managed about half of that before giving up. I had to knead it to finish it off.

This is what the kitchen looked like by this point:

They started out watching me roll and cut pieces, but quickly grew bored and wondered off. Probably for the best since it took me two tries to do the first roll and cut. Then I figured out that the commenter who said to cut it on the parchment so you don’t have to handle the pieces afterwards was totally right. Things started going better after I started doing that. After you cut them, you put them in the fridge for 15 minutes. By the time I put the first pan into the oven, 2 hours had gone by. (Next time I’ll preheat the oven after I get the first pan into the fridge.)

I got way more out of those two batches than I expected. They said to make a double batch for 1 house. But what they didn’t say is that you would have a whole lot leftover! In total, I made 3 complete houses (6 pieces each), plus the two side walls for the 4th. So I only have 4 pieces to make tomorrow. Jenna will be here next weekend to decorate one, and I invited Adrianna over as well. The plan is that Wed I have to assemble the houses so they have time to set up before Saturday’s decorating party.

The kitchen has been taken over by gingerbread pieces:

Start to finish (including my emergency run to the grocery store just before I started) was 4 hours. And that doesn’t actually include most of the clean-up. That’s the reason I’m not sure this was worth it. Probably would have been easier if I was only making two houses. 🙂 What was I thinking?!!

3 thoughts on “Gingerbread Houses!

  1. Hey, you don’t know until you try. I happen to know that those house kits are probably not all that old. There are sell by dates on anything edible, so whatever stock is left over is discounted at the end of the season, and it can’t be sold after the sell by date. Check the package before you buy it and you should be ok.

  2. What you were thinking is how much fun it would be to do this project with the kids,