Here is our entry into this months challenge. I say "our" entry, because making gingerbread houses has become a family tradition for the past 20 or so years. Every year we try a different design and we are especially proud of this one.
First a picture of the final product so a nice picture ends up on the front page
We make our patterns from scratch, and make the dough from scratch:
Tracing and cutting out the pieces:
The front window is a cutout bow window. We made our own super tiny square cookie cutter to cut out the little panes of glass:
And then we carefully baked it over a tin can to give it the curved look:
We've learned that to ensure the gingerbread is super hard to stand up to the "elements" it must dry for a few days before building with it. Here are our pieces drying:
Many hands make light work---when assembling the sides:
Here it is partially assmbled. Towards the front of the interior is a hole that my dad drilled out so that a light can be added later. We also use pretzel rods in the corners for extra support:
Part of our tradition every year is to make two gingerbread houses and invite another family to make one with us. Here are both houses completed. NOTE: the one being entered in the contest is on the left---the one on the right is my fiance's house that him and his family made.
And here they both are again with the lights dimmed so that you can see the interior lighting inside the houses:
And the front and other side of our house:
Some of the ingredients we used (besides gingerbread and merangue icing) are:
Juju fruits for the christmas lights
M&Ms for the sidewalk
peanuts for the brick on the chiminey
a jelly ring decorated with icing for the wreath
an upside down ice cream cone for the tree
wafer cookies for shutters and fence
marshmellows for the snowman (complete with hershey kiss and mini M&M "mouse ears")
icing for the decorative designs on the roof of the window, and around the door
coconut flakes for snow
I hope you enjoyed looking at it as much as we enjoyed making it!