Gingerbread House Decorating Party
tips + how-tos
How to assemble your sweet home
1. Place one cereal layer on a cutting board. Cut a 2-inch strip off the long side. Repeat with the remaining two layers to get three strips.
2. Cut each strip crosswise into four 2-by-3-inch rectangles to make 12 small rectangles.
3. Stand five 2-by-3-inch rectangles on their 3-inch edge. Using a pastry bag, pipe royal icing down the exposed 3-inch edge.
4. Stick the rectangles together to make 1 roof panel. Repeat Step 3 with five more rectangles to make the second roof panel.
5. 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.
6. Cut one of the trimmed cereal layers in half crosswise -- these sections will become the two short walls of the house. .
7. Place the walls perpendicular to each other on the 14-by-18-inch cardboard base, with the short walls inside the long walls.
8. 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.
9. Cut the remaining two small rectangles into triangles to fill in the gaps on either end of the roof panels.
10. Place large marshmallows along the ridge of the roof panels to fill in the top gap.
11. Pipe icing along the bottom edge of the roof panels and on the long edge of the cardboard on both sides of the house.
12. Affix five chocolate-covered graham "tiles" along the piped icing. Pipe more icing and affix three more "tiles" to the roof's short ends.
13. Now decorate!
Stick candy dots on black licorice laces to make strings of holiday lights.
Use chocolate-covered graham crackers as doors.
Walk This Way
Cut out poundcake snowflakes with a cookie cutter and use to make a walkway.
Break apart white chocolate bars and use as shutters.
Balance the sugar high with savory snacks.
Roll up alternating layers of thinly sliced ham, cream cheese and salami; cut into spirals and stack on cocktail bread.
Set out carrot and celery sticks and pretzel rods with hummus or other dip.
Red and White Skewers
Cut a block of white cheddar or monterey jack cheese into cubes and skewer with cherry or grape tomatoes.