The holiday season is upon us and what better way to celebrate than with a gingerbread house decorating party! Remember the holiday parties you used to love as a child where you would decorate a cute little gingerbread house with boat-loads of candy, sneaking a piece here and there? It’s time to revive and refresh the tradition, but with a grown-up twist. Our holiday experts have compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you host the perfect gingerbread house decorating party for adults!
Tips for Hosting a Gingerbread House Decorating Party!
1.) Get the party started with invites
Build anticipation for your upcoming celebration with a festive invitation. The right invite will set the tone for your party. We love these cute ones by fellow B Corp Paper Culture. Send them out far enough in advance to build excitement and anticipation for the big day, while also giving your friends and family plenty of time to think about their house design.
2.) Make it a chocolate “gingerbread” house
Say goodbye to the pre-built gingerbread house kits and graham crackers. Take your gingerbread house party to the next level by using chocolate bars! Not only do they create a unique yet elegant house structure, but your finished creations will fill the room with a wonderful chocolate aroma!
3.) Plan before you shop for supplies
Building the perfect gingerbread house is all about having the right supplies. When it comes to toppings be creative and ask for advice! Before your event, brainstorm a list of topping decoration ideas with friends. Candy canes, pretzel squares, gummy string, and cereal pieces are a few of our favorite toppings. You can always peruse the store for more ideas, but it’s great to have a healthy list to start.
4.) Don’t forget the decorations
Make your celebration extra festive with holiday-themed décor. When doing your pre-party shopping, be sure to pick up some cheerful Christmas decorations, like these spruce woodland trees. Some twinkle lights, garland, and candles can help turn your place into a cozy winter wonderland.
5.) Make your “glue” ahead of time
Building a strong, sturdy chocolate gingerbread house requires the perfect “glue.” This construction icing recipe from King Arthur flour works great. Prep your icing in large batches ahead of time and store in disposable decorating bags (using a rubber band to close off the end). This royal icing can be made up to two hours before the party. When you are ready to start building, simply cut off the tip of the bag and start decorating away.
6.) Create your land plots
Every chocolate gingerbread house needs a plot of land. Using large sheets of cardboard or a cutting board and aluminum foil, create a large, flat building lot for each group to build their gingerbread house on. Make sure your surface is sturdy enough to support the weight of the house and won’t fold in half when it is picked up.
7.) Set up construction stations
On the day of the party set up gingerbread house building workstations. Cover your tables with disposable tablecloths for easy post-party cleanup (trust us, royal icing is really hard to clean up). Then start to layout the materials each group will need. We included a pen and paper for sketching an initial design, 8-12 organic chocolate bars, a knife, and some other construction tools. Be sure to have a wastebasket and plenty of paper towels on hand!
8.) Build an artist’s palate of toppings
Use muffin tins to create a tray of organized decorating supplies for each group. Not only does it help you to evenly distribute all of the toppings, but it allows each group to clearly see what supplies are available for them to use.
9.) Don’t forget the refreshments
No party is complete without some delicious refreshments. After all, creating a killer chocolate gingerbread house can cause one to work up quite an appetite. Make sure your spread includes some sweet treats, like this orange hot chocolate and some Christmas chocolate bonbons, so guests can satisfy their sweet tooth with something to eat other than the decorations.
10.) Make it a competition
When your guests arrive, randomly assign them to teams and make the chocolate gingerbread house decorating into a friendly competition. This will allow new friends to get to know one another other. Set a time limit for the competition and then let the fun begin! Friends will look forward to winning and continuing the tradition next year.
Share your chocolate “gingerbread” houses with us on Facebook or Instagram @LCChocolates. Have fun and may the best #chocolategingerbreadhouse win!