Gingerbread Villages

For about a week and a half, Taylor was looking forward to yesterday’s activity… decorating gingerbread houses. This is one of those activities I usually dread – I’m not great with icing, they are horribly messy, and I find that the kits can be difficult to construct too.
I started with Target’s Gingerbread Village. Save your money, this kit is horrible. The houses have to be broken apart – not an easy task when the gingerbread is hard and not scored enough for them to break apart evenly. I destroyed 2 complete buildings trying to break them by hand and then cutting them with a knife. The candy is unpalatable too – although they look pretty, some are bitter and those cute little gummy trees are unexpectedly minty. The houses are difficult to construct since the surviving houses were slightly uneven. I tried to ‘smooth’ them out so they would fit together better, but since the cookies were so hard all I did was break off chunks.
Since I didn’t think 3 mini houses were going to be enough for 2 kids to decorate, I decided to head to Walmart. I found a kit in their bakery department and I was pleasantly surprised at what I got. There were ‘good candies’ inside (M&Ms, Skittles, etc.), all the gingerbread pieces were soft and all pre-cut, and there was a base included to ‘glue’ the house onto. Everything was easily put together and the best part of all? Nothing fell apart!
Of course, the most important part is that the kids had fun. Easton was in it for the candy alone – he gave up decorating the houses halfway through the second one. Taylor thoroughly enjoyed herself – now she’s trying to protect her creation from Easton who is determined to pick off all the goodies from her door (and eat the sugar Santa).

3 thoughts on “Gingerbread Villages

  1. bernadette

    I tried a pre-baked gingerbread tree (from a craft chain store) a few years ago. It was a pain to assemble and tasted awful when i tried to actually eat it after the holiday. I went back to making my own molasses gingerbread, which I like dark and spicy! I am going to do all that work, I want to really enjoy it!

  2. Beth

    We used to go to a children’s museum in NH and they had a fundraiser. They gave you an already-built gbread house and made icing and you got to decorate your heart out! Maybe you can check in your area and see if any folks offer this.
    In addition, you could also use a pint sized empty container as the framework to glue (with regular canned frosting) on the graham cracker walls, then proceed to put on candies with that same frosting.

  3. stacy

    I’m not a fan of gingerbread – or maybe I’ve just never had good gingerbread before to compare to!
    We have a Gingerbread Village fundraiser event here, but the kids don’t get houses, they make them out of graham crackers and I think they have to assemble that themselves. I’m just not great with Royal Icing – everything wants to tip over!
    Yesterday I did see a pre-built gingerbread kit! I may be trying those out next year and just saving some halloween candy for the decorations.

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