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I'm about to teach my first class since our move from Texas to Alaska, and while the focus of my class is on cookie decorating, I'm also in charge of preparing the students for the following week's meeting, which will be on making gingerbread houses. For the moms who want to allow their children to participate, I'm going to show how to make graham cracker houses at home using white chocolate, so that they can prep for that class as quickly and easily as possible. And, since I'm at it, I decided to go ahead and post the instructions here for my readers so that there's no excuse for anyone to skip this adorable holiday tradition - no matter how little time or craft ability you think you have!


All you'll need are some graham crackers, some melted white chocolate or almond bark, assorted candies, and a lightly serrated knife. The knife you choose is the only real trick to making graham cracker houses. Pick a knife that is serrated but the serrations are very fine, as you can see in the photo below. A plastic disposable knife from a fast-food place will usually be exactly right. You don't want big ol' steak knife serrations for this job. The very fine serrations will do all the work for you when you cut your graham crackers into the configurations you choose.

Holiday Cuteness In Record Time

Notice that I'm not measuring anything. Not one thing. Just eyeball it and make sure the two ends, the two sides, and the two roof pieces match each other, and it's all good.


Here's how to cut the graham crackers for your house parts - use the knife to gently saw a score line in the cracker. Don't press hard or you'll snap it.  Just let the knife do the work until you're about halfway through the cracker.

Then, snap the cracker at the scored line.

Did your cracker break off cleanly? If so, awesome! If not, no problem. Simply rub the cut edge of the cracker against another cracker scrap, and you can "sand" off any bumps for a very smooth edge.

Just to prove you can make a cute house using nothing but melted chocolate, crackers and candy, and do it in about an hour, here's the finished house. I used Necco chocolate wafers for the roof tiles, and assorted sizes of Wilton cupcake sprinkles. The front door is a stick of Black Jack chewing gum cut in half, and the snow is coconut. The icicles are just more melted chocolate. Click on it to get a bigger view if you like.

There, that's not hard, now is it?


Here is a basic cutting diagram for a low-slope roof. Don't worry about getting the triangles for the ends of the house to any exact measurement! This isn't rocket science, and there's no need to obsess. Just make sure the two ends are the same by cutting the first one and then using it as a pattern to cut the second one. The unlabeled pieces are scraps. Discard - or better yet, eat - the scrap pieces unless you want to make a chimney out of them later.

Place one side piece and one end piece at right angles and adhere them to each other using melted chocolate. If you want to make a house with royal icing "glue" instead of chocolate, the procedure is the very same, but it will take several hours or a day to complete and you will need to prop the pieces while they dry, whereas the chocolate allows you to assemble the house in minutes.

Continue adding the other end piece and the other side in the same manner, adhering the house to a cake circle as a base if you like. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't, depending on how I want to display the house when it's finished.

When the base of the house is complete, I like to set it in the fridge for just a couple minutes to set up firmly before using the chocolate to add the roof pieces.

And there you have it. It really is that quick and simple. No problem, and now there's no excuse for you not to invite the kiddos in for a "gingerbread" house craft party, right?


But let's assume you want a little variety in your graham cracker house village.  Here's what ya do:


For a steep-roofed house, cut the end pieces from the center of the long side to the center of the short side and proceed as above, discarding the scrap triangles.  For the sides of the house, don't forget to trim off a bit from the ends, or the roof won't have much overhang. Speaking of the roof, the crackers for this style house will need to be attached vertically rather than horizontally, so trim some off of the ends of the crackers so that the roof doesn't come to far down. I trimmed off about a half inch or so. Again, it's not a precise art, just make both sides of the roof the same. The chimney was made using scrap crackers. Don't worry about being exact! Remember, you'll hide any gaps or wonky lines with roofing materials later.

Here's the cutting diagram for a wee tiny house. This one is made with half crackers, so it's quite small and adorable. This also makes a nice doghouse to go with your full-size graham cracker houses. Or decorate and add a name to each for use as place cards, place them next to your guests' plates, and then for dessert, add a scoop of ice cream. Voila! Double duty for the same mini house.

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