First off, let me introduce myself. My AR screen name is
Nicolette as it is my first name; however, I tend to go
by Nikki. I've been a long time AR user (way before 'the
buzz') and while I will pop in every so often, I usually
just browse around (sounds so much better than lurk).
I don't read the blogs, but when you mentioned
gingerbread houses on 'the buzz', it caught my attention.
I've never, ever constructed a gingerbread house from
scratch. Maybe... maybe years ago I helped my son with
a milk carton-graham cracker monstrosity, er, creation,
so I had no idea where to start with a 'real' one. I put the
idea on the sidelines as, well, life got in the way, but lo
and behold... I came across a blog featuring mini
gingerbread houses that are made to perch on the rims
of coffee (or hot cocoa) cups!! Ingenious. Clever.
Why didn't I think of that??? And then it occurred to me
that I could do that! I wasn't committed to a large
structure nor a large expense should I royally bomb.
Plus, the blog from which I borrowed this fantastic idea
not only provided recipes, but also the templates. And
coupled with gorgeous pictures of the finished project,
I KNEW I could do it.
For the gingerbread itself, I used a modified version of
AR's 'Eileen's Spicy Gingerbread Men' recipe by STEPH67.
I probably doubled the spices to make the finished
product darker and more aromatic (as it was for display
purposes only) and I baked longer to harden the dough
to be more structurally sound. For the 'glue', I chose AR's
'Royal Icing II' recipe by Kristen Pontier, which is the
culinary version of spackle. But the BIGGEST credit has
to go to where I found this most wonderful idea in the
first place, from the blog entitled "Not Martha" by Megan
http://www.notmartha.org/archives/2009/12/18/a-gingerbread-house-that-perches-on-the-rim-of-your-mug/< . While my finished product doesn't come close to being perfect... I like to think of it as 'rustic' in a wonky-warped-crookedly baked kinda way..... I did have fun stretching out my pastry wings. Might even venture to say I *may* attempt a gingerbread house again.... next year.
Trishie, well what can we say, she outdid herself! Trishie built 6
houses!! She makes them for her kids school to raffle off. They then use the funds to buy little extras that are not in the regular school budget.
The houses and the fun description she has provided to me is awesome!
Absolutely amazing Trishie!!
(Be sure to see Trishie's blog for more!)
The gingerbread house I made with my two youngest kids
(18 & 20 years) looks so simple in comparison to these
fabulous creations! We had great fun building together
though and they loved all the memories the activity
brought back! I found some wonderful little edible
gingerbread men at the craft shop which we trimmed
the roof with, some candy trees (those are the smaller
ones) and 2 trees that are actually candles which are
the components that are not edible. For the snowman,
I rolled balls out of fondant and dipped them in Royal
Icing 1 ~ his scarf and hat are also made from fondant.
Due to repeated disasters (not being able to get my
sheets off the baking trays in one piece I went with
using a kit for my structural frame. We did not use the guide
for decorating though.
Merry Christmas Everyone ~ last one out, turn off the lights in the house!