The key to decorating a Gingerbread House is just a teeny bit of creativity. Just remember that nothing can go wrong as long as you're having fun with your family and kids. Once your Gingerbread House is out of the oven, wait for it to cool before decorating. Everything on a Gingerbread House should be edible. You want to be able to eat the whole house when it dries - like Hansel&Gretel did! Therefore, you're going to need edible glue. I'm going to share with you my favorite icing glue recipe because it never fails to hold the candy in place.
- 2 egg whites
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 ½ tbsp water
First, place egg whites in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until frothy (about 3 minutes); this is the most important step because if the egg whites are too runny, the icing will not hold. When ready, add all the other ingredients and keep mixing until the icing is somewhat stiff (glue-like). Fill up a decorating bag with the mixture, and you're ready to begin! Tips below:
- Use small green candy to form grass around the yard of the house.
- Occasionally toss in a few red or pink candies on the "grass" to act as flowers.
- Give gingerbread people hearts by placing candy hearts on their chests.
- Instead of gingerbread people, use animal crackers for characters. They too can have candy hearts!
- Sprinkle colored sugar where appropriate to create a shiny magical effect.
- Make a marshmallow brick house by layering marshmallows (like bricks) on the walls. Mini marshmallows are light and therefore stick very well.
- Use broken brown or red candy to replace marshmallows as bricks to create a more realistic effect.
- Make a door with the rounded part of a larger-than-usual candy cane. Then use an M&M, Red Hot or Skittle for a door knob.
- Place two mini candy canes together to form a heart. Glue it on top of your door for a grand entrance.
- Make a Christmas wreath for the door with a traditional round peppermint surrounded by icing and green sugar.
- Use peppermint sticks as poles for the house.
- Create a pathway at the front of the house by laying pebble-like candy to form a path. Make a fence to follow the path using Wheat Thins or crackers broken to the appropriate shape (mini rectangular).
- Use pretzels for windows.
- Let the icing drip off the roof to act as snow.
- Make a mailbox - place a large marshmallow over a standing humbug. Then using food coloring and a brush or write your name on it.
- Mix coloring with icing glue in different bowls to create more colors.
- Place a Christmas tree marshmallow in front of the house and decorate it with "ornaments" (i.e. cake decorating confetti; you can find these in many shapes like hearts, holly, stars, shamrocks, pumpkins, etc.).
- Stick round pastel candy "roof tiles" on the top of your house.
- Make a chimney with square candies such as Starbursts. Squeeze icing to create a smoke-out-of-the-chimney effect.
- Squeeze on a ball of icing onto one of your gingerbread people's hand. They're having a snowball fight!
- Make a mini snowman for the front of the house with white chocolate truffles, licorice (eyes), candy corn (nose) and pretzel (arms).