The discussions.tommmymac.us team has seen a lot of homebuilding projects come and go over the years. Because we’ve never all seen eye to eye on all the features of every project, in the spirit of the holidays we decided to tackle a project we could all agree on—a Gingerbread House.
To start, we created a few plans: A-Frame, Colonial, Saltbox, and Side Gable houses (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader). The discussions.tommmymac.us design department drew up some easy-to-follow plans that anyone can download. We collected gingerbread and icing recipes from the Internet, and began the task of gingerbread building, illustrated below:
Step 1: Budget Your Dough
Building Tip: Next time you are at the building supply or hardware store, pick up a four-foot long, 3/16-inch-diameter dowel. It will make the perfect rolling pin guide.
Step 2: Carpentry Work
Building Tip: Remember to make any design changes before you bake the gingerbread. Architectural adjustments ordered after the bread is baked can lead to costly overtime baking charges.
Step 3: Construction Adhesive
While the gingerbread parts are baking, mix up a batch of icing and put it in a cook’s caulking gun (better known as a pastry bag).
Building Tip: Baking-site safety is a must! Some royal icing recipes use uncooked egg whites. Meringue powder (found in cake-baking stores) can be used as a substitute.
Step 4: Assemble the Sugar Shack
To assemble the gingerbread house, start with one of the side pieces. Apply a bead of icing along the bottom, and place it on the base. Working with one piece at a time, apply a bead of icing along the edges of each piece to attach sides to the front of the house. "Gingerly" butt the pieces together. You can use a tall, smooth-faced object like a drinking glass to brace the house during assembly. Finish the four walls by attaching the remaining piece.
Building Tip: Put some eggnog in the drinking glass. The added weight will keep the glass from sliding.
Step 5: Decorative Trim
Step 6: Roofing and Icing
Building Tip: Now it is time to take a break and enjoy the eggnog while the icing dries. Wait until it is hard to the touch before decorating—too much candy too soon can cause structural flaws in your gingerbread house.
Step 7: Exterior Design
|Here are a few more tips from the office staff at discussions.tommmymac.us!
Credit: Renovate with Tommy Mac