Friday, November 30, 2012

Peppermint Candy Tray and The Annual Gingerbread House

  So lets see, firstly I have a give away going on, and I would love for you to check it out and enter.  Here. Secondly, I am so happy that I know how to finally edit and do cool things with my pictures.  And by cool things, I mean crop out all the messy back ground that is my house, or at least most of it.  I also have a whole lot more storage in my on line album.  I am almost done, but it has been so neat, going from 99.98% full down to under 8%, I was emailing hubby every few hours telling him, "I'm down to 75%!" And so on, I think he was getting annoyed after the like 25th email, oh well.

  So all that to say I hopefully am going to be back to normal.  So I have a good deal of baking behind me, with pictures, that I can now edit.  So I will start with this one, one of our yearly traditions.  The gingerbread house.  This year I went for something different.  Usually we get the box kit with the pre built house and candy.  But I wanted to try making a candy tray and I also wanted to get candy I like, and the plan was for me to actually bake the cookies.  My sister got me the gingerbread house set last year, but it didn't happen.  So whatever, I got the pieces at the bakers warehouse. And the pre made icing, I did make the tray, so lets focus on that.

I really thought I had more than enough mints, but I was wrong.
I  have seen this tray on the Internet a few times, and the last time when I saw it on The Tip Garden I knew I could do it.  And by that I mean, I would try and if I failed like usual you would never even know as I can keep secrets.  So when I took Pork Chop to the bulk candy store I wanted just the red and white mints, but my store only had these ones.  They called them starlight mints.  I got a bunch of them and then thought I had so many my tray would be huge.  I was wrong, I had just enough actually.

This was enough to build the house with a large yard all around. 

  So to start you heat your oven to 350, then unwrap all your mints, if you have a man or a child that actually likes candy they might help you.  Pork Chop just gave me the look and said "no thank you."  So I unwrapped them while watching cartoons, we are not going to eat this thing so no big deal if there is a little sofa fluff in it.

  Once unwrapped you lay them side by side on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, from what I read wax paper will not work, so use parchment. Then set them up how you want your tray, I was trying to get very straight lines, but well, I did my best.  Then carefully set the tray in your preheated oven.  Try to not allow the candy to move or else your tray will not be straight.

  I went for 6 minutes as the other blog said after 8 minutes it was still not done.  But I know I have a very hot oven so we did 6 minutes and it was perfect. you want the candies to be melted together, but if they start to bubble and stuff it will burn and spread too much.  So once they are done, move the tray to a cooling rack and allow them to set back up.  It didn't take long at all, and I took pictures for face book and texted my girl friends to show them how awesome I was.  I am humble if nothing else.

It was so nice, the top was all shiny and the bottom was smooth but dull looking. It was not fragile really, it felt like a plate, but I bet if you drop it it would shatter. So don't drop it okay?

So while the tray was setting I got out all the stuff for our gingerbread house.  I had these two house kits that when I opened them turned out to be tiny little tent like houses, and Pork Chop was not having any of that.  So I had to jerry rig the bits together so I could get one big house.  This mean gluing bits together and letting them dry a bit then adding more bits and so on and so on.  As the bits were drying I put out all the candy for Pork Chop to work with.

This cost about $8 all together.
 He was adamant that we have gummie bears and the rest he was all "whatever" about.  So I got this and some ribbon candy and we were good.

I may have had some candy left over, which I may have eaten.  I said may have people.

So I set up Pork Chop and he got to work.  Firstly I would pipe on some icing and he started to stick stuff on. The roof fell off and he was all " Why didn't we get the boxed house, I hate this, next year we get the boxed one!"  And I told him to just stick the candy on and stop complaining.

At this point it was all looking like it would be okay, then I added the roof, and well then it was not as okay.

 So he did and he was fine, sneaking a gummie bear here and a chocolate there.  It all was going well.
He was all "I want to touch the candy tray" and I was all "don't you dare!"  And he did it anyway while I was taking the picture.

 He was talking non stop about how such and such was this and such and such was that.  I was really focused on the roof not falling off again since that would mean a  huge clean up.  And we all know how well cleaning happens here.
As I took this the roof fell over, and his face says it all. "Why aren't we using a box kit house!"
Look how cute his little arms are!

  And then because he is my child, and he is weird, he needed there to be a gummie bear war or battle as he called it, in the front yard.  This of course is basically him piling on as many bears as he could, and asking me to keep blobbing icing on.
Look out bear!!!
   He would make bomb sounds and "oh this poor bear he didn't even see it coming!" Comments.
 So as any good mom would do, I offered to cut a bear in half, because what gingerbread house is complete without a gummie bear that has been torn in half?
I may have caught Pork Chop stealing a few candies too.
Well you know how that goes right?  The best ideas, are sort of the worst. And now he keeps on saying "that's gotta hurt!"  If he ever catches on to the "that's what she said" trend I am will die, only because it will be awesome, sort of.

All done!
At the end Pork Chop told me this was the funnest house ever, so I think he may be quick to change his mind about things, sort of like his father.  Or me, either or.
The side of the house, with what looks like blobs of icing, but I bet he thinks it  is something else.

I think it turned out pretty good actually.
  Any way, it was all good, and Pork Chop was thrilled with the house.  Even though it was not from a box kit, and he proudly talks about it to everyone.  And by talks about it, he says "yeah" when I ask him if he told his friends all about his gingerbread house.

 Part of me thinks he may not be talking it up as much as he says.
And here is Pork Chop pointing out the poor bear who was torn in half, that screams "Happy Holidays!"  if you ask me.

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Lisa Rukin Swift said...

Adorable! I love the "yard" you created for the house.

Connie Mercer said...

wow so cool!! looks beautiful!!

Linda Beeson said...

What an amazing masterpiece, I can see he had fun!

Sugar Swings said...

wow i've seen the candy tray on pinterest, glad it works!! love the end result :)

Erin said...

Totally cool and so much fun! Love the gingerbread house! And the candy tray is awesome! I've seen that out there too but wasn't sure about making it. Is it all sticky?

Meaningful Mama said...

Wow! What a clever idea for the base of a gingerbread house. I love it! Jodi @

Tam said...

I love the way you 'talk' on your blog. You are so funny!!!!

Paula said...

Pork Chop looks quite proud of his house and so he should be! Love the base (yard) you made for it.

The Brunette Baker said...

I LOVE this and that you placed your gingerbread house on it! Screams Christmas! I also just realized that we're practically neighbors. Small world!