The season of haunts and horrors is upon us, and Good Cook’s Sweet Creations line has launched an entirely fun way to celebrate! The Sweet Creations Haunted House Cutter Set makes it easy to build your own spooky Haunted Gingerbread House. With a box full of giant cookie cutters ready to press into a batch of gingerbread, it’s easy to prep everything you need to build a Haunted House of your own. Here are a top tricks and tips to making your own Haunted House for Halloween!
TRICK #1: Make your gingerbread from scratch.
Make the gingerbread recipe on the back of the Haunted House Cutter Set the night before you plan on decorating your haunted houses. Though there are many premade packets of gingerbread cookie mix available in stores, you’ll want to stick to the recipe on the box. It’s specifically created for gingerbread house baking, and will yield firm cookies that retain their shape during baking.
TRICK #2: Use the cutters to create your house.
You’ll need two of the orange pieces, two of the green pieces, and four of the purple pieces. Once you’ve cut one of the orange pieces, turn it over and press the top of the cookie cutter into the gingerbread for a cute pre-pressed mold, which will bake beautifully into your cookie dough, giving you ready-made home décor! Turning over one of the orange pieces for baking will also prepare your house for the final setup! To assemble the house properly, the gingerbread pieces cut with the orange cutter have to mirror each other, with the tall peaks of the haunted house both set up on the same side of the house.
TRICK #3: Prep and bake your gingerbread on parchment paper.
Good Cook’s parchment paper keeps your work and baking surfaces clean, but also reduce the potential frustration that can happen when working with sticky dough and precise measurements.
The front of each cutter can be pressed into your dough to imprint fun Halloween designs right into the dough!
TRICK #3: Here’s the biggest trick of them all!
As soon as you pull your baked gingerbread pieces from the oven, press your cookie cutters quickly into the hot cookies. The dough will be just soft enough for a few seconds to make it easy to “re-cut” and “resize” the cookies with the original cookie cutters, snipping off any extra pieces that may have baked or altered shape when you transferred it onto your baking sheet. Once recut, allow the gingerbread to cool completely and harden before removing from your baking sheet.
TRICK #4: Gather Your Minions (and Munchies!)
Prep your haunted house decorating area ahead of time. Lay out bowls of candy corn, mellowcreme pumpkins, chocolate sprinkles, chocolate chips, and more. Or, choose your own color scheme and find candies that fit! Orange, black, purple, green, white, yellow…there are so many fun color combinations that will make your haunted house look amazing!
TRICK 5: Make Royal Icing
No matter how tempted you may be to buy premade icing, a quick back of royal icing makes all the difference when assembling your haunted house. Royal icing isn’t fun to eat, but it’s firm and quick-bonding, and dries as solid as a rock in minutes.
Royal Icing Recipe
4 egg whites
1 (2-pound) bag powdered sugar
2 tablespoon shortening OR 1/2 tablespoon cream of tartar (optional)
In a stand mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and shortening. Beat until well combined and fluffy. If needed, add 2-3 tablespoons of water to thin the frosting out to desired consistency. Tint with gel food coloring, as desired.
TRICK #6: Assemble Your Haunted House
The best place to assemble your haunted house? On a piece of cardboard covered with tin foil! That way, you’ve got a cheap, disposable base for your haunted house which is firm enough to hold the haunted house, and easy to cut into whatever shape you please!
When assembling, remember that the “front” and “back” pieces of your haunted house must be flipped to mirror each other. Pipe royal icing onto the bottom of each piece and press the front, back, and side pieces together. Piping royal icing onto the seams of each piece will help you keep the house together with minimal icing, while giving good, strong support to the edges of your haunted house.
TRICK #7: Decorate and Have Fun!
Keep in mind as you’re preparing to make this haunted house, it’s an experience! From prep to finish, plan on a minimum of 3 hours to make, bake, assemble, and decorate your haunted house. If making it with kids, it’s strongly recommended that you bake and assemble the haunted house the day before, allowing the icing to dry and firm up before inviting tots to frost and decorate.