100 Days of Holidays-Peppermint Tray & Gingerbread House-3 Days & Counting

We usually put our gingerbread house together on Christmas Eve, but with a long weekend this year I decided to let the kids start early.  I had already made these cute peppermint trays that I thought maybe we could use with them.  Actually, I saw the idea on Pinterest and had to give it a shot.

Peppermint Trays
Starlight or Peppermints
Baking Tray
Parchment Paper

Preheat oven to 350.
Arrange mints in pattern you decide on.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Let cool.  Mine had some air bubble come up and I found that if you don't pop them immediately then they are not going away.  I just used a toothpick to smooth them out.
I think this would have worked better if I would have had some kind of mold to put them in because, as you can tell in the pic, the edges began to run.  Once it was cool enough to touch, I flipped it over and let it settle on that side, which was perfectly smooth.  I did about 3 just to get the hang of it.
Gingerbread House
Gingerbread House Kit OR Graham Crackers
Hot glue gun
Yes, you read that right.  Hot glue gun: my secret weapon.  My kids don't like the taste of gingerbread, so there is no chance in them wanting to eat the houses when they are complete.  When we first started making gingerbread houses, I would stay up the night before and put it together, so the icing would have time to harden for my daughter to decorate the next day.  Now, I just hot glue those puppies together right before they are ready to work on them.  They use the icing to put on all the decorations, and just have fun making a mess.

This year I decided to try a more conventional (money saving) tactic, and bought Graham Crackers to use.  My daughter used a gift card she received and spent out for a Barbie house to decorate.  Let me just say that it was not as big as expected, and you can hardly ever make them they way they show.  But she still had a blast.

For my 4 year old, I tried to make him a train.  Here's how it went:

I used both the regular size grahams and the new square ones.

Took some cardboard boxes and covered in tinfoil for our bases.

I took 2 squares and glued to each end of the regular ones.

Added another to box it in.

Glued on some peppermint wheels (my son wanted a train)...

and pressed a little too hard on those wheels.

Tried it again...

and added some square grahams to the inside for reinforcement.  NOTE:  Everything so far has been put together with hot glue!!

I just played around with some ideas, and it ended up looking more like a car.

My little man didn't mind though.

I was afraid the car would cave in as he started to decorate, so I decided to make one more, and really reinforce it.  I took a shoe box and used it as the inside frame for a "graham cracker house".

Time to decorate!

I separated all types of candy in to separate containers and put on trays.  Remember my blog about Halloween candy?  All those twizlers and starburst are from Halloween, just waiting to be used up today!

My 4 year old son had an absolute blast.  I took some royal icing and tinted it blue, then thinned it with water.  I had a candy/icing squeeze bottle that I filled full with that blue mixture and let him have at it.  I made the base coat for him and he went at it.  Laughing and cackling the entire time.

My 7 year old daughter's Barbie House.  She even added a railroad track so we can add Bubba's "train" to her display.

Loving these smiling happy faces!

And here is my laughable masterpiece.  Notice the roof?  Its one of the peppermint trays I made.
No matter what they look like, it is the memories we made today that mattered the most.  Another family tradition started about 5 years ago, that I hope will continue on and on, and that my children will continue with their children.
Until next time...
Amy~The Dixie Diva


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