Christmas might look a little different this year, but the kids can still have an easy “gingerbread” house decorating party with mom and dad! This easy recipe takes the complicated gingerbread cutting and baking out of the equation for a much simpler project, with beautiful and tasty results! And the crockpot cranberry cider will make the entire house smell great for hours!
Easy Graham Cracker “Gingerbread” Houses
Ingredients for each House:
Graham crackers (A box makes 4 houses)
Icing (recipe below)
Decorating candies, mini-marshmallows, pretzel sticks, cookie wafers, and cereals of your choice
3 Egg whites (must be at room temp.)
1 lb. Confectioners sugar
½ tsp. Cream of tartar
1 Foil-wrapped cardboard square or circle per house
Frosting pipe bag with decorating tip or ziploc bag
1. In a small mixing bowl, beat all icing ingredients until VERY stiff. This is key to making the houses hold form and not slide. Cover the icing bowl with a damp cloth to prevent hardening.
1. For each house, you’ll need 2 square pieces of graham cracker for the sides (1 snapped in half), 2 full crackers for each side of the roof, and 2 pointed pieces—use a serrated knife to cut a full-size cracker into an even point, starting at the “dotted” halfway mark of the cracker.
- Scoop 1 cup icing into each child’s piping bag or ziploc bag. Near the center of your foiled board, pipe a line of icing to place the first pointed piece of the house into a vertical position. Hold in place one minute. Repeat for the sides and back. Line the tops of those to add the roof. Hold in place for a minute.
- Use remaining icing to add “snow” all over the roof and to place candy decorations. Be creative!
Easy Chocolate Caramel Pretzels
12 caramel squares, cut in half
¼ cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
1 tsp. coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Line a baking sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper
- Line the pretzels evenly on the baking sheet.
- Place a caramel half on each pretzel and bake for 3-5 minutes. The caramels won’t be fully melted, but they will spread as they cool. Cool completely.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, add coconut oil to the chocolate chips and microwave one minute. Stir. If not completely melted, microwave in 15 seconds more and stir. Repeat if necessary.
- Dip completely cooled pretzels into the chocolate, dipping half for ease and a more artsy effect! Tap against the bowl to remove some excess chocolate. Return to baking sheet.
- While the chocolate is cooling on the pretzel, shake on a dash of Christmas sprinkles.
Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Cider
1 liter apple juice, pure, unsweetened
2 cups orange juice
1 liter cranberry juice, unsweetened
¼ cup sugar or sweetener (add more to taste)
3 cinnamon sticks, whole
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Garnish (optional): apple slices, cranberries, toothpicks
- Add all ingredients to a 4-quart or larger crockpot and stir.
- Cook 3-4 hours on low temperature, then turn to “warm” setting while you are serving.
- Add orange slices and a handful of cranberries to float in the cider for added flavor and a festive look!
- Ladle into cups to serve. Optional: garnish with apple slices and cranberries on a toothpick (for older kids).