Saturday, November 24, 2012

Not Your Ordinary Christmas Cottage

Our beautiful leaning house
I have made gingerbread houses before and they were not the most architecturally sound buildings. I did enjoy decorating them. Honestly, I was not crazy about making the gingerbread. It was time consuming and well, tedious. So this year I decided to make them out of crisp rice cereal. Yep! That yummy gooey marshmallowy treat. I made candy sushi out them; why not a house? The result was a quick-to-make but still not architecturally sound house. Making the house was easy and decorating was so so much fun. I am surprised it did not collapse under all the weight of icing and candy.

Crisp Rice Cereal House

6 Tbsp of Butter, Divided
8 Cups (20 oz.) (567 g) of Miniature Marshmallows, Divided
12 Cups (1200 g) of Crisp Rice Cereal
Assorted Candy

Butter or grease a 13 x 9 inch (33 x 23 cm) pan. Measure a 15 x 10 inch (38 x 25 cm)  piece of foil, grease the foil, and place on a large cookie sheet. Preheat the oven to 250F/120C/ Gas Mark 1/2.
Over low heat melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan. Once the butter is melted, increase the heat to medium, and  add half of marshmallows (4 cups/284 g).
Stirring the marshmallows
Stir until completed melted. Remove from heat and add half of the cereal  (6 cups/ 600 g). Stir until the cereal is completely combined. Dump into 13 x 9 (33 x 23 cm) pan. Butter your hands (trust me- a light coating a butter is a necessity) or a buttered spatula and spread until level.
This will be the base

Clean your saucepan and repeat. Spread onto foil.

We will make the house out of this block
Carefully cut the cereal mixture on the foil into the following pieces: four 5 by 3.5 inches (13 x 9 cm) (the sides) and two 8 x 3 inches (20 x 8 cm) (the roof). Take two of the side pieces and cut off the two corners to form a peak. To make the process easier, I made a pattern out of paper and used them as a template.

The baked pieces. The two small pieces were going to be a chimney 
There will be pieces left over you can use these to make chimney and trees. I ate them. Once the pieces are cut out, place on a greased cookie sheet, and bake for 20 minutes. Reshape the pieces as needed and cool.

To Assemble

Place the large base on a cookie sheet. (I covered it with sweetened grated coconut).

The base covered in coconut
Pipe a line of frosting where you are going to place the sides. Generously frost the sides and fit the house together.

Putting the house together requires a lot of frosting
Next frost the edges and place the roof.

Ready to add the roof
Add frosting to patch the holes.

Obviously, we had lots of holes

Finally decorate.

The bottom line: will we do this again? Yes- I think this has replaced the gingerbread house. I hope to have a better constructed house next year.