Gingerbread kids have invaded our home. My daughter’s first grade class has adopted Gingerbread Fred as its holiday mascot, and for four days straight she begged me to make him a brother, and a sister, and a dog.
I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to fit baking a band of brothers and sisters for a cookie kid into my already tight pre-Christmas schedule. However, thanks to some creative reconfiguring I was able to grant my daughter’s wish. Not only did we bake some sweet siblings for Fred, but we also were able to construct him a gingerbread and candy castle.
If you are looking for a fun and festive project to work on with your kids as you countdown to Christmas, I would highly recommend making a gingerbread house. Bonding over chocolate and cookies, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Here’s what we used to decorate Fred’s house:
*Colored mini marshmallows
*Frosted animal crackers
We used simple vanilla frosting as “glue,” though you could use powdered sugar mixed with some milk to adhere the candies and other treats to the house. In addition, I made sure to keep the house on a cookie sheet during the decorating process to cut down on the mess.
If you live in a very humid climate, you might consider adding some supplemental supports to the inside of the house to keep it upright while you are decorating it. Ideally, you should let your gingerbread house sit overnight before embellishing it, though that may be very hard to do if you have young children who are dying to get their hands on the cookie creation.
Another tip: Don’t use large or heavy pieces of candy to decorate the roof of your gingerbread house. We made this mistake and had to add a bunch of “snow” to cover up the hole in Fred’s roof. Mini chocolate chips work best on delicate rooftops. Popcorn and colored marshmallows are other great alternatives to heavier peppermints and jelly beans.