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5 tips for building a gingerbread house

Baking a gingerbread house is one of the great Christmas traditions and kids will love showing off their masterfully decorated centrepiece, maybe even as much as eating it!

1.Beware of your base Like any home, a gingerbread creation needs a strong foundation. If you’re planning a modest abode, a cardboard base is all that is needed. If however, you’re planning a doughy extravaganza, a wooden board will make transporting easy.

2.Dont get caught in the December rush December is one of the busiest months of the year for many but you can ease the stress with some preparation. If possible, make your gingerbread dough a day before decorating, giving it time to cool and harden. You can even freeze dough for up to a month before hand, or store pre-baked pieces in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

3.Pre-decorate before you assemble Even the sturdiest gingerbread house may wobble when little hands have free reign over decorating. Placing your treats on the walls and roof before construction will allow the frosting to dry, making it as good as mortar!

4.Think outside the square While candy canes and gumdrops will always be the quintessential gingerbread house embellishment, there’s no reason why you can’t have a bit of fun and make use of some of the latest products to take the baking world by storm. Edible markers are perfect for little ones who will love seeing their artwork take three-dimensional form and safe-for-consumption sprays and paints are a pretty touch on royal icing. For those that are adventurous in the kitchen, try adding some savoury flavours, like crushed pretzels or pistachios.

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5.Spread some Christmas cheer If you have any leftover goodies after decorating, why not make little gift packs for your family and friends? Sweet treats make the perfect addition to chocolate bark, while surplus marshmallows are the ideal accompaniment to handmade hot chocolate kits. Don’t forget to save some for Santa!

Once your creation is complete, we’d love to see it! Upload your picture to social media and use the hashtag #HWKChristmascooking

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