This year was our second year at work to have a Gingerbread House Contest! I was hoping we would have more participants this year than last years. We only had 3 houses come in. This year we only had two!!! Including mine. Last year I had this big idea that just didn’t work out. I learned a lot from the first year I did one. Last year when my plan didn’t work I had just said I am not going to do one and that was that. Well, I just couldn’t give up so I put another one up in maybe 3 days, just so I would have something to bring in. It won one of the two categories last year but it still didn’t display any of my skills. So this year as soon as the email came out about the Holiday schedule at work, I got right to work on this years gingerbread house. I started in October.
First, I searched for a template. I found nothing I liked. Just the same old boring online templates. So I started searching for books to see if there were any out there. I found The Gingerbread Architect in my local library. The book had many different styles of homes to choose from and it included templates. I loved the Victorian Farmhouse. I knew when I saw it, that was what I wanted to do this year.
The Gingerbread Architect had several homes I wanted to try so I went ahead and purchased this book.
The back of my house.
I had my husband help me on the templates. In the book they have the measurements they should be. So I got some graph paper and had my husband draw up the templates to size. That probably took about 2 hours. It would have taken me days if I had to do it. He is a lot better at numbers than I am.
The side of my house.
Once the templates were all done. I started making the dough. I made the dough way in advance. I learned from last year to start as early as possible. And that’s exactly what I did. I tossed the dough in the freezer until it was time to make the gingerbread house pieces.
I decorated all the outside pieces before putting them together. I didn’t do that last year and found that it was definitely easier to do any decorating you can do before putting the house together. I did the siding with Royal Icing. I wish my work was cleaner but I don’t think it’s too bad it kind of gives it that old house siding look. So I was pretty happy with it. I just need some practice on keeping my hand steady.
I was lucky to get this veranda up. All the candy canes I got kept braking in my hands! These 3 survived somehow. My front and back doors were made with Satin Ice (fondant) and Tylose powder. Tylose powder makes it dry hard and fast. It basically turns it into gumpaste.And the door handles are silver dragees.
The Christmas lights are chocolate covered sunflower seeds with a candy shell. I tried to put these “lights” up quickly because the longer it took the more of these sunflower seeds I would eat.
I love my snowman. He took me just a few minutes to make. The snow is shredded coconut. I did process it to make it more fine. I then added some edible glitter but you can’t really see it in the picture.
The Christmas trees were made of fondant/tylose powder mixture, and then piped with leaves all around. This was pretty easy but really hurt my hands.
I love my fat little Santa. I watched this tutorial on how to make him.
I learned how to make these little guys from watching this tutorial
Some of the windows were made with isomalt and some were made with melted lemon drops. I would have preferred all isomalt windows, but it was my first time using the stuff and I quickly learned I would need a lot more. But the shipping cost was too much and I was running out of time so I improvised and just melted some candy for the others. I do like the isomalt better. It gives the windows a frosty look and isn’t sticky like the melted candy windows are.
I made the roof shingles out of fondant/tylose mix. I used my exacto knife for texture. This probably took the longest of all the decorating. It took about 6 hours just to do the roof.
The picket fences were made with royal icing.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask.