8 Tips for Using Your Gingerbread House Templates

Santa's Gingerbread House

A Traditional Gingerbread House

Gingerbread house templates are a convenient way to construct beautiful candy and cookie homes for the holidays. This popular pastime is made far more enjoyable when you don’t have to struggle over balancing and stabilizing your base pieces.  Go over the following eight tips to discover more ways to make the holiday baking season a relaxed and pleasant time for everyone!

Tip 1: Parchment Paper Makes Life in the Kitchen So Much Easier

Parchment paper (or rice paper/ cookie sheets) has many uses, especially when working on your gingerbread house template. Use yours to roll out the dough and move the pieces as necessary. Having a roll on hand can save you a tremendous headache later when you try to find a space to prepare the pieces of your edible structure.

Tip 2: Review All Ingredients and Steps before You Begin

Take a moment to go over every step and ingredient. Make sure you understand what to do and what comes next. Doing so will let you identify potential issues before you get to them in the gingerbread house making process.

Shoe House

Uniquely Shaped Gingerbread Shoe House

Tip 3: Hard Dough Can Soften in Just 10 Seconds

Sometimes ginger bread dough can become stiff and difficult to work with, especially if it has been refrigerated or frozen.  If your dough isn’t working the way you want it to, try putting it in the microwave for approximately 10 seconds. This will make it more pliable so you can easily roll it out and prepare your pieces. This method can be applied whether you are building a simple Hansel and Gretel gingerbread house or something more unique like the shoe house.

Tip 4: Slice Gingerbread with a Pizza Cutter or Similar Utensil

Your pizza cutter can also serve as a convenient straight edge slicer when putting together a gingerbread house template. Just roll the round blade over each piece outline to get a straight cut. This is really important when building something that must stand upright. A knife or other sharp tool can also be used, but the pizza slicer tends to offer better control when creating long cuts.

Tip 5: If You Need a Long Lasting Gingerbread House, Try Hard Candies

Chocolates are a delicious treat that can make your assembled gingerbread house template look beautiful. The problem is that chocolates have a tendency to melt, especially once the heat kicks on as the temperatures drop outside. Consider using hard candy pieces instead.  These last longer and won’t melt or drip.

Tip 6: Sand Down Imperfections with a Grater

Christmas Tree

Gingerbread Christmas Tree

When following the gingerbread house template, there may be unexpected imperfections that appear along the edges or sides of each piece. A few swipes with a grater or similar tool can file down these areas so your pieces fit together snugly. You may need to do this even when building structures that require unique shapes, like the gingerbread Christmas tree.

Tip 7: Don’t Neglect Your Gingerbread Yard

Everyone always focuses on the house, but what about the yard? The best gingerbread presentations include decorations that surround the walls and exterior elements of the display. You can add more ginger bread or use a simple cardboard box or other flat, lightweight piece to serve as a flat space for whatever additional decorations you come up with. A few marshmallows can be attached together to form a snowman while pretzels make a beautiful fence or walkway border. Imagine how quaint your Hobbit house would look with a little grass and wildlife made of candy nearby!

Tip 8: Cover Your Work Area with Cloth or Paper to Make Cleanup Easy

Even though you are working with edible items, your work space can get very messy. Heavy duty icing and candies may be hard to scrub off of counters, especially if they have a chance to dry there. Consider laying down an old table cloth that you don’t mind staining or paper. This will make clean up much easier after your gingerbread house template has been assembled and decorated.

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