Bake up some fun with a spring gingerbread birdhouse
Whether you’re suffering from cabin fever or spring fever, bake your way out of your winter shell with this fun spring gingerbread house. Just print out the instructions and recipes, gather some ingredients and colorful candies and enlist the kids to help. When you’re done you’ll have a beautiful (and edible!) table decoration your whole family will love.
Roll out the gingerbread dough onto a sheet of parchment paper. Place the templates on the dough and cut out the panels with a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Baking tip: Use cookie cutters to make cookies from the leftover dough for the kids to decorate. Frosted cookies make great embellishments for your birdhouse (and an even better tasty treat).
Transfer the parchment paper to the baking sheets. Bake dough and let cool. Baking tip: Place bits of leftover dough on the corners of the parchment paper to keep it from curling up during baking.
Pipe a thick line of Royal Icing along the bottom and side of the front panel, and along the bottom (long end) of one side panel.
Press the front and side panels together down on the base. Hold in place for a few minutes until the icing is partially set.
Repeat with the other side panel and back piece. Baking tip: Need an extra set of hands? Grab some cans from your pantry to help hold the gingerbread panels in place.
For the roof, pipe icing all along the top edges of front, back and two sides.
Place both roof panels on the structure at the same time, making sure the top edges of the roof panels are touching.
Hold the roof panels in place for a few minutes to set.
Use icing to “glue” pieces of candy to the house, beginning with the roof.
Apply candies to both sides of the roof. Baking tip: Orange slices or Necco wafers make great roof “tiles.” Piped rows of icing also look nice.
Pipe a thick line of icing along the roof seam...
...and top with a row of candy.
Continue adding candy embellishments to the front and back panels...
...and don’t forget the sides!
Cover base around house with edible grass or green-tinted icing or coconut.
You can use a frosted cookie as the final decoration...
...and enjoy the rest (you’ve earned it)!
Home tweet home!
Now let your creativity take flight! Which one will you make?
Easy: Candy-covered (and kid-friendly).
Intermediate: Add some panache with colored piping.
Advanced: Bring on the bling with extra embellishments and pretty piping.
Bernard Shondell is a Hallmark visual merchandising manager by day and a professional baker by night. He made his first gingerbread house in second grade, so we know he speaks with authority when he tells us it's so easy an eight-year-old can do it!