Blog Post

Candy Cottages

This is an activity for those that the thought of actually making and cutting gingerbread for all of your children is too overwhelming, but really want to have fun with “gingerbread houses”.

In our home, we began making candy cottages (or graham cracker gingerbread houses) when my children were 3, 4, and 5, with a couple of my girlfriends who had children of similar age groups. It was so easy and our children had a lot of fun making the houses, eating the goodies, and proudly displaying them throughout the season.  It quickly became a holiday tradition as each year our children looked forward to making their “gingerbread” houses.

Over the next few years, our small group grew bigger, as other friends and their children wanted to be included in the fun. We moved beyond candy. Anything edible became fair game when constructing your home and yard: broccoli, dried parsley, cinnamon…you name it, it was used.   One year we put them in the garage on the chest freezer to harden and the cat decided to lick them all. My children were very sad…

Alas, my children outgrew the desire to make candy cottages as they moved on to high school, college, jobs, and marriage. However, the fun part about writing this article is that it has brought back fond memories for my family and we are going to start again this year, this time including spouses and girlfriends.

I hope that you enjoy starting traditions with your family and friends as well while creating your very own candy cottage.

Candy Cottages
Supplies  needed:

  1. Piece of sturdy cardboard 12” – 18” square, or paper sturdy paper plates
  2. Aluminum foil to cover cardboard/plates
  3. 1- 8oz milk container (per child) cleaned and dry. (Have the children get them from school)
  4. 1 recipe (or so) frosting (spackle)
  5. Graham crackers (get extra, the kids like to eat them)
  6. Assortment or candy/goodies

**Note cupcake tins are a marvelous way to contain your candy.

Foster parenting Baking shasta county
Foster parenting shasta county  baking
Foster parenting shasta county  baking

The following is a list of goodies that you could use (by no means are you limited by this list:

  • Tootsie rolls
  • Peppermint rounds and sticks
  • M&Ms                  lifesavers             chex
  • Candy corn         jellybeans           sliced almonds
  • Skittles                 marshmallows
  • Licorice                 pretzels
  • Gumdrops          cheerios

Recipe for Frosting (makes approximately 2 houses)
Separate 3 egg whites from the egg yolks.  Add ½ tsp. cream of tartar and 1 lb confectioner’s sugar. Mix at low speed until blended, then high speed for 7 minutes (don’t cheat!)  

Depending on how many recipes or frosting you make, there may be quite a few egg yolks left over. Here is a sight that has recipes to use up left over egg yolkshttp://www.fortysomething.ca/2010/04/recipes_to_use_up_extra_egg_yo.php

Foster parenting shasta county  baking
Foster parenting shasta county  baking
Foster parenting shasta county  baking

Wrap card board/paper plates with aluminum foil.The kids can’t wait!!

Foster parenting shasta county  baking
Foster parenting shasta county  baking events

To make triangles for the ends: Take a graham cracker square, score edges with a sharp knife, and break. You may want to make ahead of time unless you have older children that can use a knife safely.

Foster parenting shasta county  baking
Foster parenting shasta county  baking
Foster parenting shasta county  baking

Frost bottom of carton and stick onto aluminum foil. Frost side of carton or graham cracker and stick onto sides of milk carton. Frost triangles and place them on the ends.

Foster parenting shasta county  baking
Baking Foster care shasta county Events
Baking Foster care shasta county Events
Baking Foster care shasta county Events

Keep frosting and placing graham crackers until you have a complete house. A little squishing may be necessary!!
Once your “cottage” is complete, then you can start frosting the outside. **Note: The frosting hardens to the consistency of cement so once the candy is on, it is almost impossible to take off! The candy cottages are pretty safe from destruction…unless they get dropped accidently.

Baking Foster care shasta county Events
Ginger Bread House Baking Foster care shasta county Events
Ginger Bread House Baking Foster care shasta county Events
Ginger Bread House Baking Foster care shasta county Events

Once the outside is complete, just let the kids go! They are incredibly creative (with a little help from Mom and Dad!). This really is a craft that the whole family can enjoy!

Ginger Bread House Baking Foster care shasta county Events
Ginger Bread House Baking Foster care shasta county Events

Eating is half the fun! Even the adults can’t keep their hands out of the candy!!

Foster care shasta county Candy
Foster care shasta county

The finished houses! A new holiday tradition for everyone to enjoy!

Ginger Bread House Baking Foster care shasta county Events
Ginger Bread House Baking Foster care shasta county Events
Ginger Bread House Baking Foster care shasta county Events

And clean up is a breeze. However you do not want to wait until the frosting dries.

Ginger Bread House Baking Foster care shasta county Events

Hope you found this article fun and informational. Remember that you are only limited by your imagination!
Thank you Kathy, Dennis, Crystal, Star, Bradley and Hailey for helping me with this project.

Foster parenting shasta county kids

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