Gingerbread house crumbles in the making


Graphic by Ja’Naya Hanks

Ja'Naya Hanks, Entertainment Editor

Gingerbread houses are a very popular interactive way to get in the holiday spirit, but sometimes they can break the bank and aren’t worth it. I’ve seen them range anywhere from $5 to $20. Gingerbread houses are typically found in most stores around Christmas time and are a great family bonding activity.

I wanted to test out two different types of Gingerbread houses to see if the more expensive house would be easier and quicker to make.

The first Gingerbread house I purchased was a Peanuts themed Gingerbread house from Big Lots that cost $10. The second one was a generic one from Walgreens that cost $7.99.

They both came with no bake gingerbread, premade frosting, and candies to decorate with. They also both had instructions on what to do for the preparation of the frosting and how to assemble the pieces.

The first one I built was from Big Lots. It came with all the basics plus a tray to put the pieces in, and little cut outs of the Peanuts characters.

Building this one was very easy and fast because of the tray. All I had to do was put a thin line of frosting in the tray and stick the gingerbread walls onto the tray and I was almost done assembling.

Each piece was almost instantly stuck into the tray once I put it in because the frosting was thick. Putting up the walls took no more than three to four minutes, and adding the top pieces took about two minutes each. All together assembly took approximately 10 minutes.

Putting everything together didn’t take very long, but the decorating, that when the trouble arrived.

The icing was very thick and hard to use, which made outlining the roof very hard and it ended up looking sloppy.

There were also only 2 different kinds of candies which limited the decorating. So, my Gingerbread house didn’t look anything like the one on the box.

Along with the thickness of the frosting, it tasted more like a fondant frosting than a regular frosting. It didn’t taste as sweet as a normal frosting would it was sort of bland or flavorless.

The ginger bread itself didn’t taste too bad at first, it actually tasted better than I thought it would. After I let the taste sit in, the after taste gradually got worse and worse and I regretted eating it. It somewhat tasted like cardboard.

This gingerbread house didn’t really look too fabulous and the taste did not satisfy me at all.

Graphic by Ja’Naya Hanks

The second one I made, (or tried to make) was a bit more difficult and time consuming.

I started by trying to put the walls together which I thought would be very easy because that specific Gingerbread house had puzzle like pieces that interlocked. According to the instructions all I had to do was put a small amount of frosting in between the parts where they meet and hold it until the frosting thickened up.

Unlike the other house there was no tray or any type of way for me to keep everything together, so I just used a small box to have something to keep everything put together. I put frosting on the first two side pieces and held them together.

I thought that was the initial problem, so I tried to put thicker layers or frosting in each nook.

Unfortunately, adding more frosting didn’t do anything but make a bigger mess. I tried to let it sit for maybe 15 minutes and got impatient and tried to add the other sides of the wall.

As I tried to put the other sides on, the original two sides started to come apart again. At this point I was frustrated because everything was just falling apart. After about 30 minutes of trying to keep it staying upright, I finally got it to stand on its own.

I wasn’t even going to dare put the roof parts on that night, so I had to let it sit overnight for the pieces to stay together. The following morning, I added the roof and let it dry while I was at school.

Once I got home all the parts were attached and sturdy and it was finally ready to decorate. This kit came with four different candies and larger amounts of each, so I could be more creative, and I could actually make it look like the box.

Overall the house looked better when it came to the decorations, but due to all the leftover frosting from trying to get the pieces to stick, it ended up looking sloppy. Not to mention the pieces dried lopsided, so the whole house was leaning to the side.

Even though the gingerbread house from Big Lots didn’t look like the one on the box because of the limited candies, I’d recommend that one over the Walgreens one. That one did cost a bit more, but at least I could have it stand up and decorate it without having to put so much frosting on it.