how we made German and Swedish gingerbread houses this weekend

This weekend we were ambitious and rolled up our sleeves to make gingerbread houses with the girls. It actually went much better than I thought it would!

Time was limited, so we decided to go with pre-fab models this year. This was a German kit from our supermarket.

And these are the parts from a Swedish kit we bought at Ikea.

The secret is in the "glue" you use, I discovered!
The German kit had the best recipe:
Beat 2-3 egg whites until they are very stiff, then gradually beat in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time (I used 3 egg whites and about 3 cups of powdered sugar in all) until the mixture is so firm that "the cut of a knife stays visible." Put this powdered sugar/egg white mix into a ziplock baggie, seal, and cut off one of the small corners to make a pastry bag.

We also covered a piece of cardboard in aluminum foil as a base for the Swedish house. If you want to make your own gingerbread, Martha has a recipe for you of course :)

Papa and Mama glued the seams while the kiddies watched.

We let the houses dry for a half hour or so until they were set.

Then the decorating fun for the girls could begin!

Sophia and Lucy obviously enjoyed this part, and a few gummi bears and m&ms disappeared into their mouths during the process.

It was our first attempt to make a gingerbread house, and for that I was pretty happy how they turned out.

The Swedish Ikea house was even cuter than the German design,

and we added little cutout cardboard figures from the German kit.

After we were finished with the gingerbread houses, we sat down for afternoon cake and tea to celebrate the fourth Advent Sunday. I've been on a baking spree again, and I hope to have some recipes posted soon. Yesterday we had an eggnog cake and a cherry cheesecake - and then we made Christmas cookies. Today, we're planning to start decorating! Hope you had a nice weekend too :)