This year I am hosting Christmas Brunch for my family,
and I have been busy adding some Christmas Cottage touches to my kitchen.
These little 'gingerbread' houses are made from graham crackers!
I will be putting these at each place setting as sweet favors to take home.
But for now they stay safely tucked inside the cubbies
of the spice shelf that my eldest son, Gabe made for me in shop class years ago.
I will give a tutorial to make them at the end of this post.
This year I have kept my decorating to a minimum,
using mostly what I have crafted or what I already had on hand.
It's amazing what you can find hiding in plain sight!
Candy always makes a design statement!
This shelf makes a handy hot chocolate station.
A vintage canister stays well stocked with marshmallows!
The Kitchen Queen received a little makeover for the season, too!
Lighter and Brighter!
A vintage style Father Christmas I made years ago
from cotton batting and a Santa face sticker,
stands beside treasured cut glass that belonged to my Dear Mother.
Tea lights in tiny tart tins illuminate the scene.
A sweet Old Fashioned Frostie Root Beer bottle
- a gift from a sweet sister -
adds a subtle but relevant touch.
A simple wreath, hand crafted from gatherings, hangs alongside.
Matching miniature versions dangle from chair backs.
One of only two purchases this year,
this little bird feeder ornament somehow jumped into my shopping basket,
so I had to take it home!
Along with this little greenhouse!
Sweet souvenirs of my shopping trip with daughter, Heather, to Bellevue Square.
I've redecorated my daybed in soft grays and greens for winter.
A simple basket of red apples adds a bright pop of seasonal color.
I hope you enjoyed visiting me in my Christmas Cottage Kitchen.
I wish I could sit and visit with each and every one of you at my kitchen table.
Graham Cracker 'Gingerbread' Houses
To make 6 houses, you will need:
1 box Graham Crackers
Waxed paper for work surface.
Recipe for Royal Icing:
(makes 2 1/2 cups - enough for 6 houses)
3 large egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 lb confectioner's sugar
In a large bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer until frothy. Gradually add confectioner's sugar and beat 5 minutes until glossy, stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted.
Spoon Icing into a sturdy zip-loc sandwich bag and snip a tiny hole in the corner for piping, or use a disposable piping bag with writing tip.
Keep extra Icing in plastic bag to keep from drying out.
Note - if making for consumption: Because of the small chance of possible salmonella contamination from raw egg whites (especially dangerous for small children and the elderly), you can make Royal Icing with meringue powder or pasteurized dried egg whites instead of fresh egg whites. Purchase these at cake decorating suppliers and follow directions for Royal Icing on the package.
Use scissors to cut graham crackers.
Make the base a little larger than half the cracker. (For front porch)
For front and back, cut peaks from 1/2 graham cracker.
For sides, break crackers into quarters.
For roof, use two halves.
Pipe Royal Icing along 'front' and 'back' of house, leaving front porch free.
Use side pieces as measure.
Place front and back on piping, using 'props' to keep upright until dry.
This takes only a few minutes.
(I found that using the 'flat' side of the cracker out, worked best for decorating.)
Continue on, piping along sides of front and back- place side pieces in place.
Pipe along peaks, and place roof pieces.
Pipe along center of roof to hold peak together.
Let the little houses dry several hours or overnight.
Keep Royal Icing fresh in refrigerator.
To finish - decorate the front first by lying house on its back.
Let this set a few minutes before placing upright.
Decorate the 'porch' next with a little 'snow' around the edges.
Place 'shrubs' of green gumdrops or round green candies and coat with more 'snow'.
Add more 'snow' to the roof line, using cookie sprinkles for glitter and adding a red licorice or candy chimney with a dab of 'snow' on top.
Icicles are made by pulling down the 'snow' with toothpicks.
These little 'Gingerbread' houses are quite sturdy and will last several years if wrapped in tissue paper and kept in an airtight container, such as a popcorn tin, and stored in a dry place.