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How to Make a Cookie House

flickr photo credit: shane o macThere is no doubt that gingerbread houses are cute – but is there any way to make them without actually using gingerbread? Whether you don’t enjoy the taste or smell or just want a simplified method of making a cookie house, what are your options? We’ll take a look at a few that will make Hansel and Gretel wish they’d found your house instead of the witch’s gingerbread home.

If you’ve ever tried to make a gingerbread house, you know that it can be difficult. You can find kits that require assembly and decorating, but which give you all the supplies you need. This can be a good alternative, but if you want to make something yourself, or with your children, try this:

Easy Cookie House

You’ll need:

  • Graham crackers (about 6 per house, or more if you’re feeling ambitious)

  • Royal icing

  • Decorations (candies, colored sugars, Oreos, cookies, gumdrops, peppermints, pretzels, and more make great trimmings for your house)

The royal icing is a very important part of the building process. It can also be a pain to use! But, luckily, it doesn’t take long and only has a few ingredients.

  • 2 large egg whites (whites only!)

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar

Beat the egg whites and lemon juice and then add the powdered sugar. Beat this on low speed until smooth. That’s it! But royal icing dries and hardens very quickly, so make sure to cover it with plastic wrap when not in use.

Begin by making a base for your house to stand on. Use a piece of 8x10 (or so) cardboard and cover it with aluminum foil. This will give you a foundation and a little yard to decorate later.

To make your house, get six whole graham crackers. Put four of them to the side (these will be used to make the roof and the two long sides of the house). Right now, you’re going to work on the gables. Use a serrated knife to gently saw the cracker’s short side so it has a point now. You can make sure it will fit right by using the lines on the crackers to make a triangle tip. Do this for the other gable.

Now you can begin assembling the graham cracker house. Pipe royal icing onto the edge of one of the gable sides and hold it in place on your base. You can also pipe royal icing on the base, too, to get a stronger hold. With one of the rectangle pieces, pipe icing on the edge of the two short sides and the bottom edge and hold on the base. Again, be generous with the royal icing and apply a layer to the base before you put the cracker on. Next, put on the other gabled end in this way, followed by the last rectangular wall. Make sure you hold each one firmly in place to allow it to set. Royal icing dries quickly, so a few minutes should be sufficient.

Next, pipe royal icing around all four sides of one of the roof crackers (flat on the cracker, not on the edge like you did with the walls). Press this gently on to the gables and walls and hold in place until secure. Repeat this with the other side of the roof.

Let the royal icing dry and harden completely. You have completed your house! Now comes the fun part. Use your royal icing as glue for the candies, sprinkles, chocolate covered oreos and other trimmings. Remember to put some icing on the base and decorate that as well.

If you want to make a cookie house that isn’t gingerbread and has a simplified process, this is a great project.

Who said you can only make a cookie house at Christmas time? Make one of these fun houses when a new neighbor moves in as a housewarming cookie arrangement!

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