Gingerbread houses are a fantastic way to decorate your home during the holiday season. Not only do they look great, but the crisp cookies will look fresh for weeks (although I wouldn’t recommend that you eat them after that time, of course!) so you can enjoy your hard work all month long. Most of the fun of making gingerbread houses is in the decorating, not the baking of the gingerbread itself, and there are all kinds of kits out there that will let you save some time in the kitchen and let you get to the good part faster. The Wilton Mini Gingerbread Village Kit is a kit that allows you to make a whole village at once, leaving you with a great Christmas centerpiece.
I picked up my kit at a craft store and it is available both at craft stores that stock Wilton products and online. The kit includes the gingerbread pieces for the four houses – an A-frame, two cottages and a barn-style house – as well as bags of white royal icing, red royal icing, green fondant and a variety of sprinkles. It also includes two icing bags, with tips, that can be used to glue the gingerbread together
The gingerbread house pieces snap apart easily with the help of a knife and required only a little bit of cleaning the pieces to ensure that you get a good fit. The designs were neatly done and the houses looked great once they were assembled. The royal icing is very thick and it only took a few minutes before they were set enough to start decorating them, despite the fact that the directions suggested they may need several hours to set up.
Overall, it was a lot of fun to decorate the kits and I really enjoyed working on the houses while watching Christmas movies. I used the pictures on the box as inspiration, but was easily able to put my own twists on the houses with the provided sprinkles. I used a few extra sprinkles (yellow stars and Christmas trees), since I already had the out from decorating some other cookies.
While it turned out that I had enough icing to glue the houses together and do all my decorating, I felt that the amount of icing included in the kit was not very generous and I worried that I might run out while I was working. The piping tips were also very small and it would have been nice if one (for the white icing) were slightly larger than the other to allow a little more versatility in the piping. That being said, there was enough icing and I was able to pull of a variety of different icing techniques using the tools provided – even though I would have preferred to have a bit extra. I was happy with how the houses looked at the end and I’ll be putting them on show near my tree! Would I buy it again? Definitely, but I would consider getting some extra icing next time (or coloring my own) just to allow me to get a little more creative with the decorations.