Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gingerbread House Party & Cookbooklette Giveaway!

Here is a recipe for FUN: Loads of friends, loads of kiddos, bowls & bowls of candy, bags and bags of icing, good weather, and healthy snacks. Mix all the ingredients together and have a gingerbread house decorating party. Fun!

I think I made a gingerbread house with my mom when I was little... but I hadn't made one since then. So, I used a combination of the Vegan Lunchbox Recipe (via VeganDad) and the Joy of Cooking recipe (*my recipe at end of this post*). It came out perfectly! For the vegan royal icing, I used the recipe from the recent issue of Vegetarian Times. Whoa. That stuff is thick. I had to add a little extra water just to get a little traction. However, it worked like a charm and glued my little house together in no time flat. You can see how I have put my friend pomelo to work, holding up the roofing sheets while the frosting dries.

For snacks, I wanted to stick with healthy and light fare... since I knew we'd all be nibbling on spice drops (personal fave!!) and red hots and such. So, first I made a big platter of fresh veggies and two big bowls of hummus. Mmmmmm!

Also some nice whole wheat bread and a batch of the Cucumber Cashew Dip from Veganomicon. I love this recipe so much! Fast and easy, with a very nice flavor. Today's lunch will be leftover hummus and cuke dip with veggies. Mmmm. It's always a good idea to make too much.

I also made up a big batch of gingerbread folks. Large and small. The small people were great for the gingerbread houses (to scale!)... but somehow they disappeared quickly into people's bellies. They are a little more tricky to get out of the cookie cutter, therefore slightly annoying, but apparently I should make more of them next year. There was also a big platter full of many, many colors of icing for people to decorate their gingerbread friends. These are the Lowfat Gingerbread Men from good ol' Joy of Cooking... easy to veganize!

CANDY!! I picked out all vegan candies, of course! There were a surprising number of options. Mostly I just read the labels, but I also reviewed PETA's vegan-friendly candy list before leaving the house. It felt completely weird and subversive spending $20 on candy at the drug store... not my usual scene! :)

My mom had the good idea to get out muffin tins and make a little assortment for each table... In all we had 4 tables and 10 kids and a few adults all building gingerbread houses. It was awesome! A sea of candy and concentration and festivity!

Here's my mom and my little nephew CW hard at work on their candy creations...

... and later with their completed Gingerbread Houses!

Julie and Leila's cute little houses!

JP & little B with their totally glorious creation! A little sagging in the roofline... but that's okay. :)

Alana made this most awesome Hanukkah Hut! Complete with dreidels and a giant squirrel and a camel and other great animals. It was so pretty!

Here I am, hard at work. I relinquished my decorating spot at some point to accommodate some cute little guests... and by the time I picked it up again, there was not much frosting left over...

...but still I managed to make the most of it, and my mini-gingerbread person still got a red hot beret.

Another view of my finished creation! This morning some of the candies are already dropping off. I guess I'll have to eat them! This party was so fun, and something I've wanted to do for a long time. I had everyone bring their own Gingerbread House (or graham crackers for a quick and easy solution), and then I supplied the candy and icing. It was awesome. Also, we covered the sofa and all the card tables with old sheets... because there was some serious sticky-finger action going on!

Last but not least! As some of you will know... each year I make a little hand-drawn cookbook with some of my favorite recipes from that year. Not usually my own recipes, because I'm not too good at that, but recipes I discovered and fell in love with. And, every year I do a giveaway of some of these cookbooklettes for my faithful blog readers! So, this year I will giveaway 25 Cookbooklettes!! You have until Friday December 17th to enter, and then I will pick 25 names. To enter, leave a comment on this post, and if your blogger comment doesn't include a link back to your blog, please include your email or I won't be able to notify you.

Amey's Gingerbread House Recipe
(bastard love child of Joy of Cooking recipe & Vegan Lunchbox Blog)
Makes 1 big house!
1/2 c Earth Balance/margarine
1 1/4 c packed brown sugar
1 cup molasses
2 "eggs" - I used EnerG Egg Replacer (3 tsp powder + 1/4 c water)
6 Tbsp water
6 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice

With a fork or mixer, mix together the margarine, brown sugar, molasses, & egg replacer in a large bowl. Mix in the water. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. Add the dry to the wet, stirring well. It may be a little dry, but if it's really dry, add a little more water. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 2-8 hours at room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 350. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Take out half the dough and knead it a little to get it incorporated. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a scant 1/4 inch thickness. Maybe even a little thinner (especially for the roof pieces!). Use a template to cut out your pieces for a gingerbread house, being sure to cut out any windows or doors now. The dough will be really hard when it's done cooking. Carefully transfer your pieces to the cookie sheet. Bake for about 12-14 minutes until the surface is firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.



  1. The gingerbread houses are so cute! I definitely need to try to make one. Please consider me for the cookbooklette contest! I always need more vegan recipes!

  2. I <3 this post and I would love a cookbooklette. I did a gingerbread house decorating baby shower for my sister three years ago, pregan, and I love thinking about how I would veganize it now. Yay for you!

  3. OMG, Amey! This is so super amazing! I am kicking myself that I never had a party like this. So awesome!!! Seriously. :)

  4. Oh, those houses are brilliant! Your cookbooklette looks very interesting - love your cartoons!

  5. Caiti1:05 PM

    Oh I love, love love making gingerbread houses! I make one every year...and well, almost every holiday. Your cookbooks are so cute, I'd love to have one in the kitchen!

  6. Aw, you guys look like you had so much fun!

  7. The gingerbread houses look so festive and fun! This is actually wonderful inspiration for prepping for my family's annual gingerbread house-decorating contest. :) Thanks for sharing the recipe, too! And that's so cool that you make a cookbooklette each year--LOVE it!

  8. I'd love a cookbooklette! What an awesome idea!

    Those gingerbread houses look amazing. Congratulations on such a fun event, with such delicious results!

  9. I will send you some more white choc anyway but let me know if there's anything else you want sending too. xxx

  10. The gingerbread houses are adorable. I love the open door idea. Never saw a Chanukah hut before that was the best! ;-)


  11. Those are adorable! I love the Hanukkah huts, especially because I'm an Alana too! And I'd love a cookbooklette, I can always use more recipes.
    chocolate fridays at yahoo dot com

  12. I love everything about this post. It looks like so much fun. What a way to celebrate.

    It's really awesome that you do the cookbooklette's. too. Fingers crossed!

  13. susan3:15 PM

    i love that there were both kids and adults nice
    i would love the booklette...i guess if i won i could email my address directly...wowee....

  14. Anonymous3:15 PM

    We love this blog and so glad to know about it. Thanks!! And we'd love to be in the running for the cute lil cookbooklette. Peace to you and yours for 2011.

  15. What a fun party! I'm hoping to go to the national gingerbread house competition set up in Asheville this year. It's so fun to see all the houses.

  16. I found you during Mofo and have become addicted to your blog--your trip around the world was utterly inspired and it seems you like to cook exactly the kinds of flavors I like to eat. I have been looking for a good gingerbread recipe so now I've found that too. Thank you thank you! My fingers are crossed that I might score a cookbootlette. Thanks Amey!


  17. love the houses and am absolutely jealous of your cookbooks. I need to make myself do that some year...maybe when the babies are older. :)

  18. Wow, looks like a fun time was had by all! Fingers crossed for a cookbooklette.

  19. Hey Amey, I would love to win one of your little cooking zines - I do the same thing most years and would love to see how other people do it! Also, my boyfriend and I love your cartoons, so I'm hoping (and thinking?) some of those will be in there too.
    The gingerbread party looks like tons of fun. I always want to try something like that but am waiting for someone to invite me!

  20. Me! I am here to win! And now I need to get that magazine so I can make me some gingerbread houses to stuff with wee monsters.

  21. Laura7:23 PM

    I've never made a gingerbread house, but this looks like a lot of fun.

    Would love to get one of your cookbooklettes!

    laura AT swarpa DOT net

  22. I love this vegan gingerbread house party! All of the houses turned out wonderfully.

    Will have to try that cucumber cashew dip, never have and sounds awesome.

    Thanks for including me in the running for one of your cookbooklettes!

  23. How CUTE are your gingerbreads..... unfortunately I didn't get around to making any this year :) Sad, I know.

    I'd LOVE a copy of your annual cookbooklette, that is if I win :)

  24. Anonymous10:35 PM

    Looks like fun! And a cookbooklette with drawings - I'll keep my fingers crossed. :)

  25. How festive and fun! I want to make a gingerbread house now :) And I'd love a copy of your cookbooklette.

  26. CUTE party. Nice to know there are some vegan candies that worked for you.

    I'd love to have a cookbooklette. My email is

  27. Those gingerbread houses are fantastic. And the cookbook looks beautiful. I'd love a copy!

  28. what and awesome party! I'd like to go to one of those :) I love all the gingerbread houses, so pretty.

  29. I love the cookbooklettes, what a great idea!

  30. Oh my goodness too much cuteness for one post! And I also like the idea to have some healthier fare on the side to balance out all the sweetness. I'm sure everyone had a blast!

    I was lucky enough to get a cookbooklette last year so you let someone else get a shot this year, but let me say it was one of the highlights of my Xmas season! :)

  31. What a great idea for a party! Your houses were all fantastic. Please enter my name in the cookbooklette drawing! (My blog doesn't have anything on it but you can still contact me that way! you know, if you need to :))

  32. Anonymous8:57 AM

    i love your drawings and the food you show us on the blog! looks like a fun day making the houses, i've never done it and it seems like the best way is to make 'em with a group!

    thanks for sharing! Heidi

  33. How cool! I've never made my own gingerbread house before, so I'm jealous! and yours still looks gorgeous for lack of frosting :-)

    I love that you do a cookbooklette each year- so cute!

  34. Your gingerbread house looks fantastic. How nice that you could get so much vegan candy at your local grocery store! I would love to win one of your cookbooklettes. They look lovely. As I've said before, your cartoons are fantastic!

  35. Oh, awesome! I love it all, but especially the Chanukkah Hut, and the itty bitty gingerbread folks!

  36. Wow! They definitely look stunning!
    Unfornately I won't get Vegetarian Times over here in Germany, would you mind to blow that recipe?
    I have been looking for a perfect icing recipe for soooo long!

  37. Becky (rljlesterATsbcglobalDOTnet)10:49 AM

    Hi! I love your "Around the world" cooking adventure series and all your great vegan cooking ideas! Thank you so much for sharing. I would love to win your tiny cookbook. Thank you!

  38. This post was very inspiring and seemed like a ton of fun. You really embodied the Holiday spirit. I would love to win a cookbook. Happy Holidays!

  39. Amy, you really have fun with your cooking and baking! I love your blog. And I'm putting in my name for your booklette drawing. What a cool idea! My email address is:

  40. those look like so much fun to make! so jealous!

  41. I love gingerbread houses! These are adorable... and the Hanukkah Hut is fantastic.

  42. What a great idea. I loved decorating gingerbread houses as a kid. Your houses all looked awesome.


  43. I would live in any of those houses, if I didn't eat them first. Love how you displayed the candy.
    and the Hanukah Hut is hilarious!

  44. Anonymous3:02 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  45. Anonymous3:02 PM

    I would love a little cookbook!



  46. A cookbook would be amazing (I read your DIY cookbook page, it was very helpful and inspiring)! Please send me one! :)

  47. Most awesome post ever!

  48. The house looks great. I'd love to win a copy of the little book you made. Please consider me. Thanks.

  49. Whoops, forgot to leave my details in the last comment - Thanks.

  50. Anonymous8:11 AM

    I love your house! It has inspired me to give it a try for the first time. Ever. I love your blog. Am still inspired by your tribute to your grandfather. And I have his favorite Calvin & Hobbes printed out and hung in my cube at work. Would give anything for one of your cookbooklettes. --Karen

  51. Chantal1:53 PM

    I would love one of your cookbooklets. I actually think it is a pretty nifty idea. I have often wanted to do a gingerbread hourse. Kudos to you for doing it.

  52. Hey, just discovered your blog. Really nice and useful.

    Greets from Germany

  53. Hi Amey,
    I'd love your cookbooklette. Love your blog, esp your mofo posts.

  54. What a fantastic party--and you are all so talented! As you may remember, I got one of your booklets a couple of years ago. I love it and it has a special place on my bookshelf. This one looks fabulous, too--hoping lightning striked twice! :)

  55. I won one of your booklets a few years ago too. Loved it. Inspired me to make my own. Still working on it though. Hoping to fill it with dishes the allergy prone family members and I can eat! Mmmm!

    Not to be greedy, but I hope I win one this year!

  56. Your gingerbread houses are so adorable, and I bet were super duper yummy. My mom loves gingerbread, i think ill bet putting your recipe to use for her :)

  57. Hey! I know I'm late to enter for the cookbooklette. But wanted to say that this post is so happy with all of the colorful gingerbread creations! And I love your happy little pics in every entry :) Have a nice Christmas!


I love comments, they really make my day! Thanks for reading my blog!