I’ve come to the realization that the only projects I do again and again are Halloween costumes and cookies. One is worn only once, and the other is EATEN, for crying out loud. I feel crazy for spending so much time on both because they’re gone afterward, but I realized last night that it’s part of the appeal. I’m a perfectionist in many ways, so it’s fun to put a lot of work and creativity into something while at the same time not having the pressure of having to look at it forever.
Maybe when I take up painting, I’ll do all my practice on over sized cookie easels, so I won’t have to look at finished early work in my basement all the time. Hah! Now that’s minimalism.
I began wanting to do this project back at our first house, and after seeing Lauren Gummerman’s Palm Springs Gingerbread House with a pool, I went out to buy a bunch of supplies. And then I didn’t use them. That was two years ago. Typical!
This gingerbread house, as you can see, is meant to emulate my real house: a tradition Cape Cod style home in New England .
No one at our house likes the taste of gingerbread, and since we weren’t getting some crusty gingerbread pieces out of a box, I wanted us to be able to actually eat the house I made. So, this is a sugar cookie house.
How to make a “Gingerbread” (sugar cookie) house like my Cape Cod style home:
- Start out by building a model out of blank paper and clear tape.
- Cut the tape that held together the model. The individual pieces will be used as templates to cut the cookies from.
- Make cookie dough. You can use any sugar cookie recipe, but if you want to make fabulous sugar cookies with royal icing, I always recommend the online course I took with The Alison Show.
- Cut around the templates onto the cookies. Bake, then allow the cookies to cool.
- Find a good pan
- Use Martha Stewart’s caramel syrup recipe to glue the walls together. For the first walls, I used cans to prop it up, but I soon found that it didn’t need support. This stuff works so well!
- Decorate your house!
- I’ll use wax paper or a plastic sheet for the template.
- Make sure the cookies are baked all the way through. My back roof piece split in half right when I placed it to see if it fit. The center must have still been doughy. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud, and was immediately thankful it wasn’t a piece that was crucial for a photo of it!
- Cut the edges straight after they have cooled. During the baking the pieces warp & attaching the walls without straight sides and bases is impossible.
- Think your base through! I started building my house on a round pan before realizing it wasn’t large enough to fit my garage. I had to move it while almost all of my walls were already in place, and it was NERVE WRACKING.
- That caramel glue is the BEES KNEES. I made royal icing, but nothing sticks like the caramel, so i used much more of that. If it cools & hardens, just add more water and start the process over. One batch went long way!