06 December 2012

chocolate christmas houses [tradition]

I hope you found a present in your shoe for St. Nicholas day today!
But if you didn't, here's a fun activity you can do to celebrate. 

It's tradition in my husband's family to decorate gingerbread houses. We didn't get around to doing it at Thanksgiving, so we did it on our own. We usually make them out of graham crackers and my mother-in-law's perfect frosting, but this year, we changed it up just a tiny bit. My inspiration came from my aunt's chocolate house she made with real chocolate a few years ago. I wasn't about to mold chocolate like she did, so instead, I picked up a box of chocolate graham crackers. So much easier, but with a similar result.

I pre-cut a few pieces just to make the process quicker so we could get to the fun part of decorating much sooner. And I used this frosting recipe. It works great! Although if you were doing this with little kids, you could always pre-assemble the houses with hot glue and then let them use the frosting for decorating.

Gingerbread House Frosting
2 egg whites
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. water
3 cups powdered sugar (possibly 4)

Beat the egg whites, water, and cream of tartar until frothy (about 2 minutes). Add in the powdered sugar and continue to beat until thick and pasty. Add in more powdered sugar until it is thick, if needed. Scoop into  cake decorating bags or sandwich bags and snip off the corner for easy application.

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