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My 235th post, "Honey Maid Graham Cracker House" with an eggless icing and other 'better for you' decoration ideas. Today's post is more of a tutorial than a simple recipe. Building gingerbread house is something new to me. I do not have a long history of making them. I just started making it a couple of years ago enthused by the holiday spirit. I usually try to bake my own gingerbread cookie at home and and then gift it to my friend's kids so that they can have some fun doing the decorations. I believe there can be no better gift for the holiday. Kids can get hands on with the decoration and then later get to eat what they made. I perfected the recipe to bake a gingerbread cookie at home, only last year. While it is not a very complicated process, I am worried making it in batches. I am also lazy to repeat the process multiple times to get enough cookies to make a full scale 3D version of a gingerbread house. For these reasons, I tend to stick with a 2D version made using my cookie cutter. You can take a peep at the one I made last year here.
This year around I was wanting to amp up my game. I wanted to put my architecture and creative skills into play and build a full scale version of a gingerbread house 😀 I also decided to have all the fun of decorating it, bringing out the kid in me. Finally, I wanted to fill it up other goodies and then use it as a nice gift. When I was contacted by Honey Maid for using their Graham Crackers to make a gingerbread house, I was all in with that idea. It basically took out all the trouble of baking my own cookies. It's now just a very simple process of 1-2-3
- Visit your local supermarket and get hold of a packet of Honey Maid Graham Crackers.
- Make your icing and build your house.
- Do your decorations or hand it over to your kids to help you out.
My gingerbread house started at my local Walmart Supercenter. I was able to purchase my Honey Maid Graham crackers and all other ingredients needed for icing and decorating in one stop. They have an array of different flavors for the Graham Crackers right from cinnamon to honey on their crackers aisle. I chose a family size pack of Honey ones. I knew that I will munch away some of the crackers while building the house and a small pack would not be sufficient 😉 In case, you are planning to visit the MacArthur Marketplace Walmart, the Honey Maid crackers were located on aisle 15.
Since I was planning to use the house as a gift to one of my friend's kid, I did not want to use candies and all other stuff not so good to eat as decoration. Instead I wanted to show to them that actually good to eat items like dry fruits, nuts, etc. can be delicious as well as work as a fun decoration. So I chose to use ingredients like cashews, raisins, almonds, etc for decoration. This would not have been possible if I had chosen to use one of the readily available gingerbread kits available in the market 🙂
Now, lets get our hands dirty and start building.
1) First, get the graham crackers needed for the house, prepped up. We would need a total of 12 graham crackers for the house we are building. The crackers marked as A will be the front and back of the house. Use a sharp / serrated knife to cut the corner as shown in the pic. The crackers marked as B will become the sides and crackers marked as C will be the roof. Break 2 crackers into halves and these small pieces will be used to stick the other pieces together. This is marked as D in the pic.
2) Next, make a small batch of icing needed to stick the pieces together. Refer below for the recipe.
Eggless Icing (Vegan)
- Confectionery Sugar - 1 Cup
- Water - 2 tsp
- Light Corn Syrup - 2 tsp
- Vanilla Extract - ½ tsp
- First, add the sugar and water to a bowl. Mix well. Then add the corn syrup and vanilla extract. Mix well until you get a smooth paste.
Notes | FAQ
- You can also use milk instead of just water.
- The icing will thicken after sometime, so make this in batches and use immediately.
3) Then use a small wooden stick and apply a little icing to the back of pieces marked as D. Place them on top of pieces marked as A and C to make sure they stick together. Let them sit for sometime until the icing dries out and the pieces stick together. Mine took about 10 mins.
4) Now we will start assembling the house. Apply the icing to the bottom of piece A and stick it to the surface where building the house. Place a support like a bottle to make sure the cracker stays upright until the icing dries out. Similar, apply icing to the 2 sides of the piece B. Place it on the surface and fix it along with piece A as shown in the pic. Similarly complete sticking the remaining pieces of A and B. The house should look like the below one in the pic. Leave the icing to dry before proceeding. It took me about 10 mins.
5) Now it time to put on the roof. Apply some icing to the corners of piece C and gently place it on top of the house to act as the roof. The house is now ready. Before staring with the decorations, leave it in a dry place for the icing to dry out. I left it out to dry out for about 1 - 2 hrs before starting to decorate.
6) Finally, once the house is completely set, you can go ahead decorating based on your creativity or give it to your kids for a fun activity. However, this is how I chose to decorate my house.
a) Cashew Halves - Used as tiles for my roof.
b) Cereal loops - Christmas lighting under the roof, decorations on the front and Christmas tree.
c) Graham Crackers - For door, windows and walkway.
d) Crushed Graham Crackers + Choco Cereals - As soil.
e) Almonds - As stones lining the walkway.
f) Unsweetened Coconut flakes - As snow.
g) Yogurt Raisins - Right on top of the roof and snow man.
h) Raisins - Front portion of the roof.
i) Dry Apricots - On the pathway.
Let me know, what you think about my decorating skills 😉 I really loved the process of using graham crackers, dry fruits, cereals and nuts to build my gingerbread house. Got a chance to be a kid all over again.
Share your ideas for other fun decorations which you think are better for your kids.