We made harvest houses today in celebration of the Autumnal Equinox. Who said gingerbread houses were only for Christmas? I started by making this gingerbread cookie recipe. While the dough was chilling I drafted a simple house template out of cardstock. Here is one I found online if you just want to print it out and use it. Using the cardstock template cut out two of each piece.
Carefully place the house pieces on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until lightly brown around the edges...11-15 minutes.
Next use the remaining dough to cut out the accent pieces...having fall themed cookie cutters really helps out with this:)
Bake the accent pieces on an ungreased cookie sheet 8-11 minutes until the edges are lightly brown. Let all the cookie pieces cool and harden for 24 hours before beginning house construction. To construct the house first select a base; we used watercolored cardboard but really anything sturdy will do. Next mix up the house cement...AKA Royal Icing. I used Alton's recipe and it was perfect. I did add food color to achieve this awesome orange color:) Place the icing in a pastry bag and prepare for piping! Liberally pipe the icing on the back sides of the front house piece and attach a wall segment to each side. Let this harden and then attach the back house piece using the same technique. Let this set for at least 20 minutes before attaching the roof. Next liberally pipe each house peak with icing and carefully attach the roof pieces. Let house sit for at least 1 hour before attaching the remaining decorations.
After 1 hour, I filled two pastry bags with the remaining frosting and let the kids go wild piping and decorating their houses. These are the end results.