Merry Christmas! I don’t have a recipe for today, but wanted to show off the project my son and I have been working on over the past couple of weeks. Evan and I made mini gingerbread houses last year and I wanted to turn putting together gingerbread houses into an annual tradition. I asked him what he wanted to make and he said a farm (he is currently obsessed with tractors).
I used this gingerbread recipe from Sweetopia (minus the baking powder) and this icing from Kids Activities Blog to hold everything together. For the template, I used the Barn with Silo (minus the silo) Pattern from Gingerbread Source. I put together the walls of the barn first and let it dry overnight before adding the roof. I let the bottom portion of the roof dry before adding the top pieces.
While waiting for the gingerbread barn base to dry, Evan decorated a few of the farm animal cookies with M&M’s.
Once the roof was completely dry and solid, Evan and I added the wheat thins for shingles. I started at the bottom of one side, using thickened icing as the glue. It held fairly well, so I didn’t have to wait for one row to dry before adding the next. I overlapped the wheat thin rows slightly, making about 3 rows per roof section. I then repeated with the other side of the roof.
To decorate the barn, I first covered the sides with strips of red-tinted icing. I thinned it out a bit more than I normally would so Evan could help and some sections sagged a bit.. Once it dried, I added white icing accents and attached the doors and windows. I piped out puddles of icing on the roof for snow accents and a few icicles. We decorated the front window and below the roof with miniature M&M’s.
For the pigs, we made a pig pen. We squeezed out a square of icing and covered it in crushed chocolate sandwich cookies. I then added a little more icing to one side and surrounded it by two layers of pretzel sticks. I added two iced pig cookies, with one covered with more cookie crumbs and perched on top of the pretzel edge.
For the fence, I glued together pretzel sticks. This was actually a bit of a pain because I was not previously aware that pretzel sticks vary in sizes. I broke a few to make the right height for posts and matched others together for the railing.
I used the same dough as the barn to cut out farm animals- horses, pigs, cows, and sheep. I flipped a few over after cutting so the animals wouldn’t all face the same direction. I used artificial coloring and thinned out the gingerbread “glue” with more water to decorate the cookies.
I also got a tractor cookie cutter from Amazon:The American Cookie Cutter Company Tractor Cookie Cutter. I decorated one with icing and Evan decorated the other with M&M’s. I used crushed chocolate sandwich cookies to make the base for a garden and piped lines of green icing. Evan added a few bunnies.
Minus a couple of aggravating setbacks, it was such a fun project to do with Evan and am looking forward to making something else next year. The plan now is to just let him play with it and have fun until it gets destroyed 🙂 Happy Holidays!