No-Bake Gingerbread Houses for Kids

No-Bake Gingerbread Houses for Kids by Lisa Anderson, Photographs by Zac Williams Read Free Book Online

Book: No-Bake Gingerbread Houses for Kids by Lisa Anderson, Photographs by Zac Williams Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lisa Anderson, Photographs by Zac Williams
Getting Started
    Making no-bake gingerbread houses is easy, fun, and best of all, fast! This book will show
     you how to make houses, castles, cottages, and more using graham crackers, cookies, ice
     cream cones, waffle bowls, and candy. There’s no need to mix dough, roll it out, bake it,
     and wait for it to harden. The house structures in this book take only minutes to make,
     meaning you can get to the decorating more quickly—and that’s the best part. Before you
     begin, you just need to know a few tips. Then you’ll be on your way to having fun!
Where to Build the House
    A large piece of cardboard—at least 1 foot by 1 foot—is the best base to build your house
     on. It’s sturdy enough to pick up so that you can move your house easily. Be sure to cover
     your cardboard with waxed paper or aluminum foil so the frosting doesn’t seep through.
    Even if the house is small and doesn’t take up much room on the cardboard, you’ll still
     want a large base so that you have plenty of room for decorating. The instructions for most
     of the houses in this book suggest that you spread icing around the house, such as green for
     grass or white for snow. Covering the whole cardboard base with icing helps your house look
     nice and neat.
Graham Crackers
    While not all the houses in this book are made with graham crackers, most of them are.
     Building structures out of graham crackers requires a few tricks.
    Most houses in the book require that you cut graham crackers into shapes or smaller
     pieces. Instead of trying to break them with your hands, have an adult use a serrated knife,
     such as a steak knife, to gently saw the cracker along the lines until the unwanted piece
     breaks off. If you try to break them with your hands, the pieces will usually break off
     unevenly.
    The diagrams for each house will show you the sizes and shapes of the graham crackers you
     need. The blue parts of the diagram are the pieces of the crackers that need to be cut off
     and thrown away.
    For many of the houses, you will need to “glue” two or more graham crackers together with
     icing to make a larger front, side, back, or roof piece. To help the pieces stay together,
     you will need to “glue” a quarter graham cracker across the seam, as shown in Diagram 1.
     This will help you make larger and more interesting houses without worrying about them
     falling apart. When you put the house together, make sure the quarter crackers are on the
     inside of the house.
    Diagram 1
Royal Icing
    Making gingerbread houses requires special icing called royal icing. It is made with egg
     whites, water, and powdered sugar, and it is very strong, like glue. It dries to a hard
     candy-like finish that will last for months. You can use either raw egg whites or meringue
     powder (which has dried egg whites) to make the icing. While both versions make equally
     strong icing, I prefer using meringue powder because it’s easier to use and safer to eat
     than raw egg whites. You can find meringue powder at craft or cake decorating stores.
Egg White Royal Icing
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 cups powdered sugar
    Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together until the meringue has formed stiff peaks
     (meaning when you lift the beaters out of the meringue, it stands up straight and doesn’t
     fall over). Beat in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until mixed together and smooth.
Meringue Powder Royal Icing
1/4 cup meringue powder
1/2 cup water
4 cups powdered sugar
    Beat the meringue powder and water together until the meringue has formed stiff peaks
     (meaning when you lift the beaters out of the meringue, it stands up straight and doesn’t
     fall over). Beat in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until mixed together and smooth.
    Tinting the icing with food coloring is a fun and easy way to add more color to your
     houses. Gel food coloring works the best because it is super

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