At JM Cremp’s, we love Gingerbread Houses, they’re a Christmas tradition the whole family can make together. Instead of spending hours making gingerbread, you can make gingerbread houses using graham crackers to save yourself both effort and time during a busy season. Display your houses on your table or in a decorative corner for Christmas Day.
What you need:
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 box powdered sugar
- 1 box graham crackers
- miscellaneous candies for decoration
- Separate your Christmas candies into bowls. This step saves the hassle of opening bags of candy with sticky fingers later.
- Place an aluminum pie tin upside down in front of you.
- Combine the egg whites and lemon juice in a large bowl to make royal icing.Add powdered sugar 2 tablespoons at a time and blend the mixture with a mixer until the icing has the consistency of stiff peanut butter. The icing will secure the graham cracker walls of the house and stick the candy decorations to the surface.
- Place large spoonfuls of the royal icing into quart-size zipped style freezer bags. Avoid regular thickness sandwich bags because the plastic is too thin and will not hold up to the punishment of being used as a pastry tube. Approximately 1 cup of icing each bag is enough. Make sure that each gingerbread artist has his or her own bag of icing. Seal the bag.
- Count out six whole, uncracked, unseparated, unbroken crackers. Set four of them aside to form the roof and the two long sides of your house.
- Cut the two remaining cracker sheets to form end gable pieces. Use a gentle “sawing” motion with a serrated knife. Use the short end of a cracker to measure the angled line from the center of the long side to the centerline of the cracker.
- Squeeze icing along the edges of a gable end and 1 whole graham cracker.
- Place the long edge of the wall cracker vertical to the base edge of the gable end cracker. Stick the side edge of the gable end cracker to the bead of icing on the flat side of the wall cracker. The walls should hold each other up.
- Add the other gable end and wall in the same manner. Use a bead of icing along the bottom to stick the pieces to the pie tin. Also, use a bead of icing where the two walls will join at the corners.
- Add the roof crackers in the same manner as the wall crackers, but pipe the icing on the flat of the roof, not on the edges. Then, stick the flat of the roof to the top edges of the gable ends and walls. Allow the icing to set for 15 to 20 minutes before handling the house again. If you place candies on it too quickly, you risk collapsing the house.
- Line the roof with icing where you want to add shingles.
- Add the shingles using your chosen candies. You can also use cereal for shingles.
- Use your imagination and decorate the entire house whatever way you like. Be creative and have fun!