I have a confession to make. Even though I love to bake, I have never made a gingerbread house. Unless of course you count those simple ones from elementary school made from graham crackers and regular tub frosting, which I won’t. I’m a total cookie house newbie and I couldn’t wait to discover if I was missing out.
After having the full cookie house experience, I can say if you are looking for a unique and entertaining activity for your family or just a great afternoon project for yourself, the Wilton Pre-Baked Cookie House Kit is a fabulous choice. I’m happy to show you just how simple it is to create your own and get into the Halloween spirit!
The kit comes everything you need and instructions for three spooky versions of a haunted house. For those of you like to get extra creative you can design your own masterpiece from the materials enclosed.
To start, prepare your base enclosed by cutting along the fold and removing the smaller piece. Unfortunately my base accidentally got recycled after the kit was prematurely opened by my boys so I improvised with the gingerbread cookie cardboard base. (Being flexible is one thing motherhood has taught me well!)
Decide on what house you would like to create and prepare the icing color used to assemble the house. Simply beat the icing packet and water together with an electric mixer. It should be the consistency of toothpaste and when it dries it will become hard and hold like glue.
After cutting approximately 3/4 inch off the pointed end of the decorating bag and inserting a tip, add your icing to the bag with a spatula and twist the bag closed. Be sure to place a damp cloth over the bowl of remaining icing to prevent drying.
Ten gingerbread house pieces are included with the kit. As you can see, one of my pieces was broken but that is really no biggie. Just a bit of the black icing used like glue and it was as good as new once it had the chance to dry!
Pipe icing along the bottom and sides of the side and front walls and join the pieces. Hold in place for a few minutes and prop with heavy jars or cans if necessary.
I found this process fairly simple once I enlisted the help of my husband. Having an extra pair of hands made it much smoother! Attach the back wall in the same way and wait an hour to give it a chance to set.
While it is suggested to make the edges completely straight by trimming with a sharp knife, I was lazy felt our gingerbread was straight enough and I simply filled the slight gaps in using a toothpick and black icing.
You’ll need an hour for your house to dry before proceeding with the roof so be sure to plan for this break. Prepare the orange icing, fill second decorating bag with it and place a damp cloth over it shortly before the roof is ready to be attached.
Attach the roof panels by piping icing along inside edges of panels and peaked edge middle portion of the front and back walls and press into place. Attach the rest of the roof panels in much the same way. My husband and I made a great tag team for this process with me piping the icing and him placing the gingerbread.
By this point our boys, Lucian and Warren were pumped about the cool house that was formed. Unfortunately the steps to build the gingerbread house are a bit complicated for them at ages four and two and by this time they were a bit antsy to start decorating the actual house.
If you feel these added steps are a major pain rather than half the fun and you want to start decorating right away, this Pre-Assembled Halloween Cookie House Kit is for you!
Now it is time to get down to business! If you are looking for this to be a family activity, what your child can do will really depend upon your desired outcome and the age of your children. Because this was my first house and I really wanted to try out the kit instructions to see what it was like, I decided to do a lot of the decorating myself and let my boys help where they could.
The instructions included with cookie kit told me step by step how to best create the “Gone Haunting” design I chose and made it simple. Some of the process was easy to allow my children to help. My two year old assisted by smoothing out the windows with his powdered sugar coated finger. He loved this part!
After finishing up the detail around the windows and door frame, my four year old carefully helped me attach candies.
If my children were a bit older the task of frosting the top of the roof would have been perfect for them!
This project was a lot of fun for me to do and trust me, I am not an artist. I loved having a visual and instructions to create this amazing gingerbread house because drawing freehand is not comfortable for me at all.
I had a great sense of pride after finishing this house and it makes for a very fun Halloween decoration. My boys both love to check it out daily as it sits on our buffet. I hope to continue this activity each Halloween (and Christmas) and will save each to bring out the following year. Nothing brings back special memories like a tradition that includes quality time with family.
The Wilton Cookie House Kit is an inexpensive way to share time and create lasting memories with loved ones! Look for them at major retailers nationwide or purchase them from Wilton.com.
This guest post courtesy of Emilie Pianfetti, a Wilton Mom Ambassador. Emilie is the co-author of the baking blog Oh My! Sugar High and owner/author of Baby Loving Mama, a blog dedicated to reviews, giveaways, favorite family recipes and funny stories about motherhood.