Build a gingerbread tradition with a sweet foundation.
A long standing tradition at my house and in my classroom has been Gingerbread Day. As the days inch closer, we set a party date, assign kids candy to bring to the party, and I start pre-assembling mini gingerbread house bases with graham crackers and Royal icing.
I use Wilton’s Royal Icing recipe.
Tip: when hosting a party for 25 kids make 6 double batches of frosting.
For younger children, I usually assemble the graham cracker gingerbread house bases ahead of time. The frosting recipe hardens after waiting about 20 minutes. Older children have the patience to wait for the frosting to harden, but pre-assembling for younger children will save lots of tears.
Tip: Think about this as “sawing” the graham crackers, rather than cutting them. I usually “saw” or cut the large rectangle for the roof down just enough so that it covers the entire opening. Using half of large graham cracker (just a square) will often be just a bit too small and the roof will cave in with the weight of the frosting and candy.
To set up the party, we usually send out invitations and ask each child to bring a certain type of candy. In the classroom, I assign each child a different type of candy. Here are a few of my favorite candies for making graham cracker gingerbread houses.
As I prepare for the party, I start by lining my dining room table with gift wrap or craft paper. That way all of the mess can be rolled up and thrown away when the party is over. I usually place the variety of candies in many different dishes down the center of the table.
As a tray for each gingerbread house, I cover small squares of cardboard with aluminum foil. To be sure the houses don’t slide off, I ask kids to use their frosting like glue and glue their house to the foil.
At our house, this is the happiest day of the year, next to Christmas! Happy Gingerbread Day!