So my confession is the first time I’ve ever done a gingerbread house was last year at Angela’s house using a kit. Click HERE to see my house from last year. This year I got an email to participate in a charity event hosted by the lady whom we adopted Mocha from. I said yes of course because I’m a lover of pet adoptions and in the back of my mind there’s a contest involved so I had to give it a shot. Well little did I realize at the time I had never made gingerbread nor known all the little tricks to putting a house together other then slapping a bunch of candy on a house. So I spent a day trying out a couple recipes then found one I liked, which I posted below. Next came coming up with a design. I cut out and taped together a house I was happy. Once it was all baked I started to assemble it and it turned out HUGE. I had a little panic going in me figuring out how I was gonna decorate it then settled on pretzels. My house took 4 full days to put together! Luckily Angela came over for 2 of them and worked on her Snoopy dog house. Overall hers weighed in at 6.8 pounds and mine at 12.8 pounds.

Here’s my bundle of joy and the reason we did the houses:

The event was held last night and was a success and a lot of fun. A special thank you to Angela for creating a lovely dog house and congrats for placing 3rd in the contest!! I’m happy to report that both of our houses went for $120 each in the silent auction! Not to shabby for being the only amateur houses there. I’m sad mine didn’t place, since the Mystery Machine Van wasn’t a doghouse even though it looked really cool, but overall I’m pleased with just being able to give back during this busy time of year.

1st place went to the Mystery Machine Van
2nd place went to the really tall stone house

First I’ll give you the recipe I used then I’ll show you some pictures.

Gingerbread House
(Adapted from Foodnetwork from a recipe courtesy of Beatrice Ojakangas)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light molasses or dark corn syrup (I used dark corn syrup)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger (I left this out)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves (I left this out)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda together until the mixture is smooth.

Blend in the flour and water to make a stiff dough.

Chill at least 30 minutes or until firm. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut paper patterns for the gingerbread house. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes until dough feels firm.
Fondant was also something both Angela and I had never worked with, but we gave it a shot and it was really fun.

I shaped some of my larger items such as the snow dog, dog bed and swimming pool with rice crispy treats then covered them in fondant.

The inside had the dog bed, a tv on the wall, a food and water bowl, gingerbread dog and Christmas tree. Here’s each of the sides of my house:

I think the car ride downtown was the most stressful thing 29 miles is a long way when you have a fragile house in the back of the car!

Here’s the pictures of our houses and the others that where entered:

Let me know if there’s anything you need more details on with how we made our houses.

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