Build the ultimate gingerbread house out of cereal—then gather the kids for an afternoon of holiday decorating.
Makes: 1 servings
Prep: 3 hrs
Cook: 15 mins
- 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
- 4 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
- 6 10 1/2 ounce bags mini marshmallows
- 2 18 ounce boxes crisp rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
- 12 3 inches pieces red licorice twists
- 10 large marshmallows
- 20 chocolate-covered graham crackers
- 5 1/2-inch-thick slices pound cake
- Assorted candies, for decorating
- Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, then line with enough parchment paper to leave several inches of overhang on each long side.
- In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 1 stick butter over medium-low heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons molasses, 1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in 2 bags of mini marshmallows and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the marshmallows are melted. Meanwhile, pour 12 cups cereal into a large bowl. Add the cereal to the marshmallow mixture and fold in quickly to coat. Scrape the cereal mixture into the prepared pan; let cool for a few minutes.
- Lightly coat your hands with oil, then press the cereal mixture evenly into the pan. Using a dry measuring cup, pack down the mixture to even out the layer. Let cool for 30 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife, then grasp the parchment and lift to remove the cooled cereal layer from the pan. Repeat Steps 1, 2 and 3 to make 2 more cereal layers.
- Assemble the house and decorate with the remaining ingredients.
- Place one cereal layer (get the recipe) on a cutting board. Cut a 2-inch strip off the long side. Repeat with the remaining two layers to get three strips.
- Cut each strip crosswise into four 2-by-3-inch rectangles to make 12 small rectangles.
- Stand five 2-by-3-inch rectangles on their 3-inch edge. Using a pastry bag, pipe royal icing (get the recipe) down the exposed 3-inch edge.
- Stick the rectangles together to make 1 roof panel. Repeat Step 3 with five more rectangles to make the second roof panel.
- Pipe a line of icing down the seam of each roof panel and affix a 3-inch stick of red licorice to each piped seam.
- Cut one of the trimmed cereal layers in half crosswise
- Place the walls perpendicular to each other on the 14-by- 18-inch cardboard base, with the short walls inside the long walls.
- Set the 9-by-12-inch cardboard on top of the house. Lean the roof panels on an angle so they support each other on the board.
- Cut the remaining two small rectangles into triangles to fill in the gaps on either end of the roof panels.
- Place large marshmallows along the ridge of the roof panels to fill in the top gap.
- Pipe icing along the bottom edge of the roof panels and on the long edge of the cardboard on both sides of the house.
- Affix five chocolate-covered graham "tiles" along the piped icing. Pipe more icing and affix three more "tiles" to the roof's short ends.
- Now decorate! Turn the fun into a party with how-tos and menu ideas.
- You can assemble the house up to 1 day before.