Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sweet Sugary Christmas Goodness!

I LOVE gingerbread houses! They are quaint, lovely, cute yet beautiful... and they remind me of all that is delicious at Christmas time!
 I did not grow up making them with my family as a child; my mom was all about the sugar cookie decorating! She'd have bowls and bowls of toppings, bags and bags of perfectly flavored buttercream icing in all different hues, and we'd just go to town on those cookies! Confession: I would load up those cookies with so many candies, you couldn't see ANY cookie, the icing was nearly a half inch thick contributing to a full inch of sugary goodness on TOP of the sugar cookie itself, and a single bite could induce a sugar coma! I never could quite understand why Santa didn't eat all of my cookie, if he ate any at all. Sometimes my 'gorgeous monstrosities' were the only cookie NOT consumed, and I thought it was because I didn't put on enough decoration! 

Well. Now I understand. I was meant to use my decoration desires on GINGERBREAD HOUSES rather than sugar cookies because I needn't feel compelled to consume the house! 
Caroline's designs tend to be minimalist. She goes for silly stories like putting a tree and a bear inside because he's hiding behind the Christmas tree, a bear upside down because he fell off the roof, or a bear standing on another bear's head because he is trying to reach the chimney!
Gwen, on the other hand, clearly has the same tendency towards excessive candy use that I had as a child! Check out her work of art! She spent a couple of hours on hers, perfecting each detail! Long after all the rest of us had moved on to other activities, she was still sitting at the kitchen table, content with her icing and goodies! I'm going to call it the "Rococo" house!

She would call it the "dragon" house, because she put little dragons all over the exterior. The green one there nestled between the white spice drops has his smarties wings folded behind him. The orange one in the photo above has landed clinging to the wall with his(?) wings spread out to the sides. Gwen used every color of gummy bear for her collection of dragon specimens. 

She was very proud of her heavy-laden house!

Emmett was just happy to sit at the table with us and chow down on smarties, jelly beans, chocolate balls, and raisins! 

and on a side note to self: making the houses for the first time this year wasn't as challenging as everyone makes it sound. What was troublesome was the way the dough curled up at the edges where they lay on the slight curl of the parchment paper during baking. It made for less-than-ideal right angle alignment when constructing the houses. Nothing that a good royal icing couldn't solve, but I think next year we'll just go back to the reliability of graham crackers. They look just as lovely under the adornment of candies!

Isn't Christmas delicious? :)

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