Okay, it's 5 PM and we just finished the gingerbread hen house. 4 days after we started. So instead of telling you a bunch of cutely worded details, i'm just going to give the straight facts.
History: my mom and i started making gingerbread houses from scratch sometime when i was in high school. We started with a house, the next year made a horse barn, and another year made a sleigh: that was our real masterpiece. This was the first house my husband and i made and we fittingly chose a hen house to house gingerbread versions of our chickens who are enjoying their second Christmas this year.
Day one made two types of dough. Chilled.
Day two rolled out first dough and baked the house and some cookies. Not stiff enough even when cooled. Hmmm. Austin's humidity is not helping me out.
Day three dough still not stiff enough bake second batch of dough (thanks, Susy!) and completely new walls.
Day four wait for 3-4 hours while husband takes forever wrapping presents and then FINALLY construct the hen house!
It's all about the creme of tartar to get some really good gluing icing. Fun tip: put icing in a ziplock or plastic bag and cut a tiny bit off the corner to use as a pastry bag. Make sure it's a sturdy bag though: mine busted halfway through and plooped a big blob of icing on my nice roof tiles. Lame.
Merry Christmas everybody! We're off for the holidays but i'll be back for the new year.