How To Make A Bacon Gingerbread House
Have you ever thought about how weird some of our traditions are? What do eggs have to do with Easter? Why do Valentine’s Day hearts look nothing like human hearts? Why on earth do we decorate cookie houses at Christmas? Actually, decorated gingerbread has been an honored tradition since the 17th century. Many European countries had professional gingerbread bakers and only they were allowed to make the treat. Special shops would sell gingerbread shaped like animals, saints and soldiers decorated with icing and even gold. Seriously, gingerbread was a big deal.
Then, in the 1800s, the Brothers Grimm wrote a story about two children who go lost in the woods and found a delicious candy house. After the book was published, German bakers began to make gingerbread houses based on the Hansel and Gretel tale. Later, immigrants to Pennsylvania brought both the tradition of making decorated gingerbread houses and the tradition of eating wine-dipped gingerbread at Christmas time to America (we kind of want that last one to come back).
And we added bacon! As you well know, we believe that bacon goes with anything and gingerbread is no exception. In fact, using bacon to decorate a gingerbread house gives it a lovely rustic wood look. And of course, there are plenty of bacon candies available to use for decoration as well.
Here’s how you do it.
- Find or make a house template. There are plenty available online or you can be all artsy and design your own house.
- Find a recipe for a stiff gingerbread cookie. Soft cookies are delicious but they’ll collapse if you try to build with them. We have a bacon gingerbread recipe that works really well.
- Make a batch of house shaped cookies using your template and recipe. Then, allow them to cool.
- Make a batch of royal icing. Don’t make it too thin or it will run and your house won’t stay together.
- Assemble your house using the icing to hold the cookies together. Be patient and let the icing set.
- Decorate! Use more icing for detail work and to hold on candy. Use candy for color and fun!
Here’s what we used:
Meat Candy White Chocolate Bacon Strips (Snowy roof tiles)
Meat Candy Pig boogers (Looks like bright pink rocks!)
Meat Candy Pig Dust (Good for a path, or pond)
Candied Bacon Strips (Looks like wood panels)