I already have a gingerbread recipe that i love so i didn't have to hunt one down which made life a little easier. I just had to find a template. Google to the rescue :) This is the site i found, we used the first pattern, the house template.
I doubled my regular recipe and it was MORE than enough. We made some biscuits with the balance.
I left it all to cool and waited for peace and quiet before attempting to put it together. I made up the royal icing by hand. Oh, my! Never going to make it by hand again, my arm almost dropped off from so much whipping! I don't know how chefs manage it. Ofcourse it would have helped if i actually had a whisk and wasn't using a fork! In the end i was using 2 forks and yes, it was more effective than 1. You think i would have learnt when i doubled the gingerbread recipe that i didn't need to also double the royal icing recipe, slow learner here. I doubled that recipe too and had MORE than enough! At the suggestion of a friend i made the icing VERY stiff. It set very quickly which was just what i needed. I loaded it in a snap lock bag, snipped off a corner and set to work.
With the assistance of some tinned beans and fruit the house went together quite smoothly.
Once all the walls were up i let them set before putting on the roof panels, door and window shutters.
I put the icing in the fridge overnight so that it was ready to go for decorating in the morning. The kids had a wonderful time discussing and deciding on decorations. Next year i know we need a few different supplies to what we had this year, but i guess that is all part of the learning process.
We were all VERY HAPPY with the final result. We wont be waiting until Christmas to eat it. I'm sure it will be all gone by the end of the week!
I think we just started a new Christmas Tradition :)