Gingerbread House Party
Sugarplum fantasies and gingerbread dreams, that's what this special occasion is all about! Build a holiday memory
by decorating gingerbread houses, a sweet and spicy tradition for all ages. Guests come with a few favorite candies and nuts
and go home with one or more decorated houses! Use the full meal menu above or concentrate on snacks only with the top part
of the menu. What a fun activity to look forward to every year!
Make It Special!
You have choices when it comes to gingerbread houses. Follow the recipe for Gingerbread Village, or for an easier option,
glue together graham crackers with actual glue or frosting. Either way, you'll want to assemble the houses before the decorating
event so guests can put their energies into the fun finishing touches.
Plan-Ahead Success TipsShop for candy-gingerbread house decorations up to 1 month before your event.
Bake gingerbread; cut, cool and freeze flat unassembled pieces up to 1 month before your event. Thaw the day before the event
and assemble. Request guests bring decorations to share. Place houses on cardboard squares covered with aluminum foil. Guests
can decorate the foil "yard" to resemble ice rinks and fill with snowpeople and sleds. The cardboard also makes transportation
easier. Plan for plenty of table space to spread out decorating supplies and allow room for gingerbread artists to work. Cover
tables with inexpensive plastic tablecloths available at party stores. Cover the floor with sheets of plastic available at
home stores for quick and easy cleanup. Place the food in a separate area from the gingerbread area; make it a self-service
buffet and encourage guests to munch as the hungries hit. Keep buffet foods safe by keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
Serve Make-Ahead Italian Meatballs from a slow cooker or fondue pot. Serve Slow Cooker Vegetable Minestrone from the slow
cooker it was cooked in.Make enough Royal Icing for each guest. Place it in resealable plastic freezer bags (they're stronger);
snip off a corner just before using. Make a bag of frosting for each guest plus some extra. Have an assortment available of
tubes and/or cans of decorator frosting, edible glitter and assorted holiday cookie decors. Here are some fun decorating ideas
to get you started. You'll find more great ideas when you shop!
Great Decoration IdeasShutters, shingles and walkways candy-striped or plain stick gum chocolate
bars graham or other crackers flat round wafer candies Chex® cereals Window frames and/or panes square, sugar-coated gum pieces
pretzel squares Doors wafer cookies pretzel sticks stick gum Siding/fences/log piles pretzel sticks (large and small) cinnamon
sticks Stonework mixed nuts Trees/greenery rosemary sprigs anchored in gumdrops upside-down ice-cream cones spearmint leaf-shaped
gumdrop candies Snow and igloos sugar cubes marshmallows Tree decorations and lights silver dragées (not to be eaten) chopped
multicolored ring-shaped hard candies Light poles/mailbox posts peppermint sticks anchored in gumdrops Sleds and skis stick
gum graham crackers for sled base; candy canes for sled runners Gifts foil-wrapped rectangular chocolate candies, unwrapped
and tied with ribbon pillow-shaped hard candies General decorations round swirled hard peppermint candies; red cinnamon candies;
candy-coated chocolate candies (regular size and miniature); red and black licorice bites, ropes and twists; chocolate, butterscotch
and white baking chips; sugared gummy candies; chocolate kisses; flags on toothpicks
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way! Oh what fun it is to decorate a spicy gingerbread village!
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup full-flavor molasses
1/3 cup cold water
3 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Royal Icing (See Below)
Assorted candies, nuts, cookies, crackers and cereal
Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease square pan, 9x9x2 inches, and jelly roll pan, 15 1/2x10 1/2x1 inch. Mix brown
sugar, shortening and molasses in large bowl. Stir in cold water. Stir in remaining ingredients except Royal Icing and assorted
Press one-third of dough into square pan. Press remaining dough into jelly roll pan. Bake 1 pan at a time
about 15 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched in center. Cool 5 minutes. Turn upside down onto large cutting
surface. Immediately cut jelly roll into fourths and then into buildings as shown in illustration. Cut square into braces
as shown. Cool completely, about 25 minutes.
Make Royal Icing. Decorate fronts of buildings as desired, using icing and assorted candies, nuts, cookies,
crackers and cereal. Use icing to attach braces to backs of buildings. Let stand 30 minutes or until icing is completely set.
Complete by decorating as desired.
1 package (16 ounces) powdered sugar (4 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup warm water, (105°F to 115°F)
3 tablespoons meringue powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Food colors, if desired
Beat all ingredients except food colors in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until mixed. Beat on high speed
7 to 10 minutes or until very stiff. Divide and tint with food colors.