Decorate a Gingerbread House
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This year the kids and I had great fun decorating a gingerbread house.
The actual pieces of gingerbread we got in a pack from IKEA - easy and very yummy! No special cooking pans or recipes required!
We "glued" the house together using toffee - much easier and firmer than trying to use icing to hold it together, and everyone loves the toffee taste mixed with gingerbread! You can just melt sugar in a pot instead of making toffee, but the combination of gingerbread and toffee was such a hit, I think I'll do it again.
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon butter
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
Boil together, stirring, until a small sample on a teaspoon hardens when placed into iced water (cold water form the fridge with iceblocks in it works best.) Start testing once the colour darkens a little.
It should be a light brown colour. If you boil too long it will go dark brown and burn. Boil too little and it will not set hard.
Once the toffee is ready, it will start to set quickly as it cools, therefore it is important to work quickly. It is best therefore to lay out your pieces and know how they fit together before starting.
Use a spoon to put a layer of toffee over the edges of gingerbread that you need to join together - join together quickly, and continue building your gingerbread house.
Once together decorate with icing and small lollies.
It is best not to use a "wet" icing as it will soften the gingerbread and make your house more likely to cave in.
Any left over toffee pour onto grease proof paper and allow to set for eating later!
My kids also made "lollipops" by dipping teaspoons into the toffee and allowing them to cool and set.
Beat together approximately 2 Tablespoons of softened butter in an electric mixer
Add about 3/4 cup of icing sugar, when well mixed, add a small amount (about 1/2 tablespoon) of milk, then continue adding in more icing sugar until you have reached your desired consistency. If it is too stiff, you can add small amounts of milk until you have the desired consistency.
You can colour the icing too, by adding in colouring drops with the milk.
We used a piping set, and piped the icing onto the gingerbread house.