Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fun with Food

Here's a couple fun treats we made recently:

First, gingerbread (graham cracker) houses.  I discovered that apparently the key to a good (stable) gingerbread house is the frosting.  This is the first year I've ever done it with my kids.  But I remember as a child making these at various church or school activities and usually we would take the easy way out and just use canned frosting.  But those darn things would always fall over.

So I decided to make some royal icing for the first time.  That stuff is magic!  Dries like cement!  The girls helped me pipe a square of icing on the plate to be a foundation for our walls.  And then obviously we piped a line of frosting at the corners to keep the walls together.  The roof was a little tricky to get it stuck together just right so it wouldn't fall off before drying, but we got it to work. 

While we waited for our houses to dry so we could put candy on, we read the story of "Hansel and Gretel" together. 

My mother-in-law sent me a link to this cute idea.  It was probably in Family Fun magazine, but I'm not sure now.  To make Rudolf you just need: 
*mini chocolate donuts
*red peanut M'n'M's for noses
*tiny white sprinkles for eyes
*broken mini pretzel twists for antlers

The antlers and eyes are easy to just poke right into the donut.  For the nose, just stick the candy in the center far enough so it stays, but not so far that you end up breaking the donut.

A friend and I decided that you could probably make cute snowman heads, too.  Just use white powdered sugar donuts, an orange candy for the carrot nose (M'n'M or maybe a candy corn?), and then black sprinkles for the coal eyes.  You could probably make some kind of top hat using a Rolo.  I'll have to try that soon.

Finally, we made the classic Ants-on-a-Log.  Celery, peanut butter, and raisins.  It's the perfect fun, healthy, easy snack.  It was also great because it led to a discussion of why ants always walk in a line.

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