Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sugar Wafer Candy Cottage

This is really just a variation of a gingerbread house.  I usually make our houses out of graham crackers, but thought I would do something a little different this year.  This little cottage looks like a mess of icing of candy.  But that's ok, it tastes good and my son and I had lots of quality time building it together. I had to resist my obsessive tendencies and remember this is his project too :)  He thinks it looks like Candy Land.  I couldn't agree more.
Time: 1 hour +.  We ran out of ingredients so did this over the course of 2 days.
Age: 3+
Mess/Cleanup:  Ugh.  This is so messy with royal icing.  Cleanup is not fun.
What You Need: (House Structure Only)
  • Sugar Wafers (1 large pack)
  • Empty Cereal Box (we'll use the flatboard to build a template)
  • Serrated Knife
  • Baggie (I like the 1 gallon baggies with no zipper)
  • Pretzel rods
  • Candy assortment
  • Royal Icing
    • With mixer, whip 2 egg whites with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
    • Add 3 cups of sifted powdered sugar
    • Blend until smooth
    • Transfer icing to baggie and snip off corner to use as piping bag. I originally used a baggie to pipe the icing - however, I later found out that filling a reusable (empty and clean) ketchup container was MUCH easier and cleaner. 
      My son loves the sifting part!

Why I Like This Craft: 
Candy. Tradition. Candy.  Lots of time with my preschooler.  What's not to love?

Step 1:
Flatten out the cereal box.  Find your inner architect, and sketch 2 sides to include the pitch of the roof and 2 rectangle sides.  You may want to measure some of your ingredients (e.g., we made a roof from pretzel rods, so in the design I had to make sure the rods were the length of the rectangle) to ensure everything will fit together properly. 

I'm typically not much of a planner, but this little step made things a whole lot easier and saved us  a lot of mess.  If your flatboard pieces can fit together, so will your finished house.
Not a very exciting part of building.  Darn prep.
Step 2:
Resist eating the sugar wafers.  We only had 1 left after this step!Lay out your wafers in a subway tile pattern on each of your templates.  Using the knife, trim the wafer so it fits to the template.  This is to dry fit all of the pieces so assembly will be quick.

Step 3:
Bring out your icing.  Using it as "glue" for the "bricks", squirt some icing on 3 sides of the wafer.  Pick up your wafers in order of your template.  We started with the bottom left on each side.  Adhere wafer to your base.  The royal icing is pretty strong.  It will harden when dry. 

Step 4:
Once the sides are fairly dry (we waited overnight) you can attach the roof.  We used pretzel rods.  I ran a bead of royal icing (I had to make another batch) on all sides.  My son loved building the roof.  He said he was just like Handy Manny.

Step 5:
Decorate with your candy assortment and enjoy nibbling on your house!

-Rose  @-}---

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