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Haunted Gingerbread House Template

Create your own haunted gingerbread house with this template.

I've been making gingerbread houses for Christmas since I was six years old, but it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I got into the haunted gingerbread house game. It was only natural, given my love for all things Halloween. When we decided that we were going to do our Halloween photo shoot at the historic and allegedly haunted Lemp Mansion here in St. Louis, I knew I had to venture into haunted gingerbread house territory once again. My challenge this time around was to make a miniature gingerbread replica of this famous St. Louis landmark and create a haunted gingerbread house template so all you Smarties can make your own!

[caption id="attachment_48171" align="aligncenter" width="500"]lemp-mansion-edgar-allan-poe-halloween-party Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, MO. [/caption]

The thought of making a gingerbread house can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be. There's a few tips you can employ that will ensure you have a successful endeavor:

  • Precision: Make sure your pattern is accurate, and that when you bake each piece, you trim it back down to size when you bring it out of the oven because the baking process will inevitably cause some expansion. The easiest way to minimize that is to add more flower to your dough.
  • Trimming the gingerbread pieces as soon as they come out of the oven while they're still soft will be easier than after they've cooled. If they've already cooled, be sure to use a serrated knife and a sawing action to avoid accidental breakage. Don't attempt to remove any of the freshly baked pieces until they've completely cooled.
  • When creating your cutouts (before baking), it can be easier to roll out the dough on the cookie sheet your planning to bake them on, and removing the trimmings rather than rolling it out on another surface and attempting to transfer them to the cookie sheet. My favorite tool is a silicon baking mat. I can roll out the dough on it, make my cuts, remove the trimmings, and then pick the whole thing up and place it on the cookie sheet. You can probably achieve the same effect with wax paper.
  • Do not use regular pre-prepared icing to decorate your gingerbread house. The bread can absorb the moisture from the icing and become unstable. Instead, opt for a more solid royal icing that dries quickly. It's easy to make and I'll give you a recipe below.
Mixing up a traditional gingerbread dough recipe is also time consuming in that the dough must be refrigerated for a couple of hours if not overnight, so here's faster, easier gingerbread dough recipe you can use when you don't have that kind of time.

What You Need:

For the dough:

  • 3 rolls of pre-made sugar cookie dough
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses
For the Royal Icing:
  • 3 ounces eggwhites*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar
*If you're decorating cookies for children, pregnant women, or anyone with compromised immune systems, use meringue powder, found in the baking aisle of most markets, instead of raw egg whites. Directions: Let the 3 rolls of cookie dough warm up to room temperature, then break them apart in a large bowl. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the molasses and start kneading the dough. Gradually add flower as you knead until all of the flower has been evenly incorporated into the dough, it's somewhat solid and the color is evenly brown. Roll out the dough to approximately 1/8 of an inch thickness before cutting out your pattern. Bake smaller pieces for approximately 6-8 minutes, larger pieces for 8-12 minutes. If you like the look of our miniature Lemp Mansion gingerbread house, you can download the template and instructions here. For the royal icing, mix the egg whites and vanilla thoroughly. Gradually add in the confectioners sugar and continue beating until the mixture is shiny. Turn the speed up to high and beat until there are stiff, glossy peaks. Use the thicker consistency to outline. When the outlines are dry, use a thinner consistency (less peaks, more runny) to "flood" for smooth, solid look such as we used for the windows below. You can use water to thin the icing if it gets too thick for this purpose.

Create your own haunted gingerbread house with this template.

Create your own haunted gingerbread house with this template.

Create your own haunted gingerbread house with this template.

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Complimentary Smarty Products:

splendor-silver-rim-black-dessert-plates Black-Satin-Dinner-napkins black-linen-polyester-tablecloth-60-102 black-grandeur-dinner-napkin-or-guest-towel
Splendor Silver Rim Black Dessert Plates Black Satin dinner Napkins 60" x 102" Black Linen Polyester Tablecloth Black Grandeur Dinner Napkin or Guest Towel

If you're raving over this party theme, get more ideas here:

lemp-mansion-haunted-house-halloween-party-theme-poe-thumbnail DIY Paper Pomanders The Raven Cocktail recipe
Edgar Allan Poe Theme Halloween Dinner Party DIY Party Poms "The Raven" Cocktail Recipe
Party on, Smarties! Ashley Styling: Ashley Riley & Ashley Dolan

Halloween Cocktail Recipe: The Raven

Halloween Cocktail Recipe: The Raven | SmartyHadAParty.com

The Raven is a Poe-etically inspired blackberry cocktail recipe that's sure to ruffle your guests' feathers. This deliciously dark spin on the classic mojito will fit right in at your ghoulish gala this Halloween! What you need: Makes 1 cocktail
  • 6 fresh blackberries
  • fresh mint leaves
  • 1.5 fl oz. shot white rum
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
Directions:
  • In a cup or shaker, mash 3 blackberries (just enough to get the juice) and mix with mint leaves.
  • Add shot of rum and ice, then shake.
  • Pour into wine goblet. Add cranberry juice and sugar (to taste).
  • Put 3 blackberries on a bamboo pick, and lay bamboo pick across the top of the goblet.
  • Garnish with mint sprigs.
[caption id="attachment_51150" align="aligncenter" width="625"]Edgar Allen Poe themed cocktail recipe: The Raven | SmartyHadAParty.com Edgar Allen Poe Theme Halloween Party[/caption] The Raven Cocktail Recipe | SmartyHadAParty.com Smarty tip: Brush gold pearl dust onto your blackberries for an iridescent shimmer! The Raven Cocktail Recipe | SmartyHadAParty.comComplementary Smarty Products:
black-grandeur-dinner-napkin-or-guest-towel Reflections-plastic-champagne-flute-glasses Black-Satin-Dinner-napkins 8oz-Sovereign-Plastic-Wine-Goblet
Black Grandeur Dinner Napkin or Guest Towel Reflections Plastic Champagne Flute Glasses 20x20 Black Satin Dinner Napkin 8 oz. Soveregin Plastic Wine Goblet
More haunting Edgar Allan Poe Halloween Party how-to's:
lemp-mansion-haunted-house-halloween-party-theme-poe-thumbnail DIY Paper Pomanders halloween-haunted-gingerbread-house-recipe-template-thumbnail
Edgar Allan Poe Theme Halloween Party DIY Party Poms Haunted Gingerbread House
Much Party Love, Smarties! Ashley Jr. Styling: Ashley Riley and Ashley Dolan Recipe inspired by: Julip Made

Marshmallows Dipped In Chocolate

Chocolate covered marshmallow pops are the perfect addition to a dessert buffet and fondue station! While you have your chocolate fountain running, why not add some marshmallows and toppings to the buffet line? What's great about chocolate covered marshmallow pops is they're easy to customize to your party colors, theme, season, holiday, and even the age group of your guests depending on which toppings you set out. Marshmallow pops are a big hit with kids and adults alike, not to mention they are so simple to make (and budget-friendly)!

Just add little bowls to your buffet and filled them up with as many yummy toppings you can come up with. You could use sugar crystals, chocolate chips, crumbled graham crackers, colorful sprinkles, nuts, coconut flakes, or whatever your heart desires! For a kids' party, crushed Oreos would be a fun idea, or for a more sophisticated crowd, you could use pearl bead sprinkles. Another idea is to customize your marshmallow pop toppings to the season or holiday, like snowflake sprinkles, leaf sprinkles, heart sprinkles, etc.

Complementary Smarty Products:

14 oz. Crystal Cut Plastic Wine Goblets 14 oz. White Wave Plastic Soup Bowls Baroque Silver Cutlery Plastic Silverware Set White Paper Beverage/Cocktail Napkins
Much Party Love, Smarties!

How to Make a S'mores Roasting Station

When my step-daughter told me she wanted a white-chocolate fountain instead of cake at her 18th birthday party, I was obliged to use the chocolate fountain we'd gotten as a wedding gift but had no occasion to use...until now. Little beknownst to her, I stalked her Pinterest board entitled "My Graduation or 18th Birthday Party" and also discovered pinned there a tabletop s' mores station that used Sternos to roast the marshmallows. How adorable would it be to roast your marshmallows, squish it between two graham crackers and then dip it in the chocolate fountain? Then roll it in sprinkles or chocolate chips or whatever little goodies we can up with.

To create the s' mores station, I filled a serving bowl with coffee beans and placed a Sterno in the middle, pushing it down just a little. When you light the Sterno, it will also heat the coffee beans and create a fragrant coffee aroma. Use metal fondue sticks rather than wooden skewers as those can catch fire easily.

Use a chocolate fountain to complete a DIY tabletop s' mores station (then dip the s'mores in the fondue fountain!).

Once you've roasted the marshmallows over the Sterno, place them in between two graham crackers and dip liberally in the chocolate fountain. To give the white chocolate a pink tint, I mixed in a few pink candy melts.

Create a DIY tabletop s' mores station using a Sterno with sprinkles and chocolate chips for garnish.

I used gold sprinkles, white chocolate chips, and crumbled graham crackers for s' more garnish. After you've dipped your s' mores, sprinkle them with a garnish of choice!

I used gold sprinkles because they looked gorgeous on the pink-tinted chocolate.

White chocolate-dipped smores with gold sprinkles.

Complementary Smarty Products:

10" White Wave Plastic Dinner Plates 12 oz. Crystal Clear Fluted Plastic Cups Baroque Silver Cutlery Plastic Silverware Set Bold Mint Floral Dinner Napkins

Party on, Smarties!

Peach, Gold & Tiffany Blue Dessert Station

Need an excuse to drag out all of the adorable servingware gear left over from a wedding? I was finally able to put to use the chocolate fountain and drink dispenser I got from my wedding registry along with some adorable appetizer/dip bowls a friend had given me at my shower. Combine those with the silver trays leftover from my centerpieces and the 3-tier dessert stand I made with old china from Goodwill and I had a pretty cute little setup for this peach, gold & Tiffany blue dessert station.

Hannah, my step daughter specially requested a white chocolate fountain for her party and I was happy to oblige. I used wrapping paper as a quick and easy disposable table runner that not only looked cute and reflected her musical talents (she plays violin) but protected my buffet from dripping chocolate.

Peach, white and gold tissue paper fans over a Tiffany blue backdrop make the perfect decorative accent for a dessert station.

I created hand-made paper fans and strung them from the ceiling with fishing line in front of a Tiffany blue curtain that I hung behind our buffet.

A peach champagne punch drink station goes right along with a peach, gold and Tiffany blue party palette.

I made a delicious champagne punch with peach Verdi sparkling wine, strawberry lemonade, ginger ale, peach Izze and floating peach slices as garnish.

Create a cute birthday sign with an old silver serving tray and chalkboard paint.

I created an antique serving tray chalkboard sign with some cheap silver serving trays I picked up at Goodwill and chalkboard paint.

Use pink candy melts with a white chocolate fountain to create adorable chocolate-covered marshmallow pops or chocolate-dipped s'mores.

We created an indoor S'mores and marshmallow pop station using a steno in conjunction with the "pink" white chocolate fountain. Guests could make marshmallow pops or chocolate-dipped s'mores.

I used wrapping paper to create a DIY birthday banner in our entry way. I used the same wrapping paper as a table runner on the dining room table.

I created a wine bar using an old nightstand, pulling out the drawers and hold the wine glasses.

Smarty Products:

6-inch-platinum-square-ivorty-plastic-plates 12 oz Fluted Plastic Glass Party Tumblers from Smarty Had A Party 3 Ply Meadow Sweet Cocktail Napkins
6" Platinum Square Ivorty Plastic Plates 12 oz Fluted Plastic Glass Party Tumblers Smartyware Fluted Plastic Wine Goblets 3 Ply Meadow Sweet Cocktail Napkin

Party on, Smarties!