We completely disagree that you shouldn’t play with your food. Or your empty juice cartons. Look how much fun you can have with both!
Gingerbread houses are so ridiculously fun to make, but are often overlooked because they seem to be so time consuming during the already busy holidays. It’s so frustrating to spend so much time baking gingerbread, only to have your house collapse (um, am I the only one that’s ever happened to? ) But now it’s easy to keep the walls up: we’ve outlined a super-simple way to start a new holiday family tradition–using your juice cartons!
We outline a couple options so you can still bake your own if you want, or throw together a project in minutes with a few simple supplies. Or you can combine all options in one house, like we did!
*You can truly throw together a Christmas house-making party in minutes with the fist couple options. Just chug your juice.
-Canned Frosting (or make your own delicious frosting by mixing powdered sugar with Calamansi juice until it reaches the desired consistency)
-Candies for Decorations
OPTION 1: No-Bake Super-Simple Log Cabin: Pretzel Logs
OPTION 2: No Bake Brick House: Graham Crackers
OPTION 3: Bake-It Up, Traditional Gingerbread House: Your Favorite Gingerbread Recipe (If you don’t have one, Google will point you the right direction)
INSTRUCTIONS FOR ALL OPTIONS:
1. Wash the exterior of your empty juice carton.
2. Apply frosting
3. Choose your decorating option: Pretzel Log Cabin, Graham Cracker Brick House, or Gingerbread
For Pretzel Log Cabin:
-Smear lots of frosting on the face of the juice carton.
-Break pretzels into pieces that fit juice carton (a serrated knife works well for “sawing the logs”–Careful! )
-Place the “log” on the frosting and slide it downwards to press the frosting down & create the snowy look between logs.
-Add doors, windows, a chimney, or any other decorations you can think of!
For Graham Cracker Brick House:
-Cover juice carton with generous amount of frosting
-Break or saw with a serrated knife (careful!) graham crackers into various sizes
Place “bricks” on the frosting and slide over and downward as you build to gather frosting so that it gathers & creates the snowy look between logs.
-Add doors, windows, and any other decorations!
For Traditional Gingerbread House:
-Mix your favorite gingerbread recipe to dough stage (if you don’t have a favorite recipe, Google yields quick results!)
-Roll out and measure the sides of the house by tracing the juice carton. Cut with a knife.
-Create any other decorations you can think of by shaping leftover dough scraps into any of the following: windows, doors, surfboards
-Bake according to recipe instructions.
-Frost the side of the juice carton to act as glue for the gingerbread.
-Place gingerbread “siding” on side of carton.
-Get in touch with your creative side and decorate it up (we built a jelly bean river rock chimney!)
4. Now the really fun part: Build a scene! We ground graham crackers in the blender (on pulse mode) to make sand and build a beach scene (naturally). Watch out surfer, that gummy shark looks mighty hungry!
5. Finally, don’t forget to photograph your creations & share with us on Facebook so we can see your masterpieces before you eat them up!