Decor. Published at Tuesday, October 09th 2018, 15:26:45 PM by Shelby G.
1. Pick a date. I like to do it the first part of December, because as the month goes by, people have less and less time to get together. I usually pick a Sunday, early afternoon.
2. Create your guest list with an RSVP date. Decide if you want just all women, or if children and spouses are included. If you invite couples or families, make sure they tell you how many houses they would like to decorate, because not all couples will want to decorate a house together. This is what makes the guest list important. Start your guest list with a small number of people, and see if it grows. You can always add more people later. Requesting that they RSVP by a certain date is of extreme importance. You need to have enough time to bake all the houses, so the sooner you know how many you need, the better.
3. Plan a menu. I like to have some snack foods on hand for when people need a break from decorating. Nothing sweet! People will be snacking on their candy as they decorate their houses, so I try to put out things to cut the sweetness. Cheese and crackers, spinach dip, pizza dip, and some veggies are some easy options.
4. Decorate your home. The atmosphere should be all about Christmas, so make sure you put up your Christmas decorations. I also like to play Christmas music in the background. I've actually had guests join in and sing while decorating!
5. Pick a house design. If this is your first gingerbread house party, I suggest you keep to only 1 house design and make it a simple one. Use either an A-Frame design or a basic house design. Don't attempt anything with a second story. That's something to work up to.
6. Bake your gingerbread ahead. You can start baking your gingerbread early. This is extremely helpful, and you will be glad you did it when it gets closer to your party date. You can store your baked pieces in a Tupperware container with pieces of wax paper between the layers, and put them in the freezer. Pull the pieces out of the freezer a day or 2 before you're ready to assemble and let them thaw in the containers.
7. Assemble your houses the night before the party. Assembling the night before ensures that the icing will be dry when your guests arrive. Use an assembly line method. If using a basic house design, construct the 4 walls first for all the houses. By the time you are done with the walls of the last house, the first house will be dry enough to put the roof on.
8. Make your royal icing the day of the party. Royal icing is not something you want to make ahead of time when dealing with gingerbread houses. The longer it sits, the softer it becomes and doesn't do a good job of holding onto the candy. You can make it about an hour before your party, and then put it into the decorating bags. Just cover the tips with a damp towel to keep the icing from drying out.
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