Every Christmas, my kids beg me to get a Gingerbread House kit. Being a baker, I didn’t like the idea of buying a kit, and I felt a bit overwhelmed at the thought of building a house!
Until I saw a Gingerbread House cookie in the back of a recent Better Home and Gardens magazine, and thought, “Hmmm, I could do that.”
This Gingerbread House is so simple! You can make the houses any size you want. It’s the perfect activity for a Christmas party at school since the kids are limited by the room on the house. No worries about transporting these houses home from school!
Gingerbread cookie dough
House shaped cookie cutter or shape cut out of cardstock/file folder.
Tray or plates for decorating on
To make the dough for the cookies, I used my favorite gingerbread cookie dough from Martha Stewart. The making is a little fussy since you need to heat some of the ingredients on the stove before adding them to the batter. I recommend making the cookie dough and baking the cookies the day before you plan to decorate them. This gives the cookies plenty of time to cool before being handled by little hands.
Since I didn’t have a big enough cookie cutter on hand, I drew a simple house shape on a file folder and cut it out. I laid the shape on the rolled out cookie dough and cut out the shapes with a paring knife.
To save washing the cookie sheets after baking, I always cover my cookie sheets with parchment paper. Since most cookies do not stain the parchment paper, I can use the pieces for a long time before tossing them.
Decorating the Gingerbread House
Now for the fun part! And the messy part. I like to set up cookie decorating sessions in my kitchen where it’s easy to clean up the floor. Not to mention the kitchen sink is handy for sticky hands.
You’ll find lots of great decorations in a variety of stores. I find ours at CVS in the candy aisle. The dollar store also has a good selection.
- Mini marshmallows
- Mini candy canes
- Red, white, and green royal icing
- Chocolate chips
- Mini red candies
- Gum drops
- Kit kat
- Red, yellow, and green sprinkles
Cookie Decorating Set Up
I set the decorations up in small bowls in the middle of the table along with a few spoons for scooping. If you do this activity in a classroom, I would have the kids use the spoons to prevent the spread of germs.