Behind the Scenes: Food Network Kitchen’s Gingerbread House

Get an insider's perspective on what went down during last week's Scripps Lifestyle Studios' Ultimate Cookie Party live on Facebook.

In case you missed it, last week FoodNetwork.com and HGTV.com came together in the Scripps Lifestyle Studios to host the ultimate live holiday cookie party on Facebook (watch the three segments here, here and here). Justin Warner hosted the event, and I had the pleasure of nerding out with him and Michelle Buffardi, from FoodNetwork.com, on chocolate chip cookie recipes.

One of my favorite parts of the day was the unveiling of the gingerbread house that recipe developer Melissa Gaman and FoodNetwork.com’s Eric Kim (with special help from Mory Thomas and Miriam Garron) worked on ALL DAY! Viewers had a ton of questions about the construction of the house, so here are some of their building tips:

The Secret Roof Compartment (pictured above): Melissa cleverly turned our house into a surprise cookie jar. Here’s how she did it: She cut one of the roof sides into two pieces and “glued” the bottom piece, with royal icing, onto the house. The removable piece simply sat on top without needing to be affixed to the house. Then the whole roof was decorated in almond shingles that covered the seam to the secret panel!

That Tiny Pie: Mory sculpted the pie out of gum paste (an edible sugar dough that dries hard) that he tinted different colors with gel food coloring.

The Rice Cereal Treat Chimney: Eric made a small batch of crispy rice cereal treats and shaped them into a chimney. Then he dyed royal icing gray, with a few drops of black food coloring, and thinned it out with a little water. Then he dipped the entire chimney in the icing, letting the excess drip off (the royal icing hardened at room temperature). Then Miriam added her special touch by dyeing store-bought cake frosting gray and piping a plume of smoke, using a star-shaped pastry tip, at the top of the chimney.

Cone-iferous Trees: Melissa brushed sugar ice cream cones with candy melts and rolled them in oats that she tinted in watered-down green dye. She let the trees harden at room temperature.

Use some of our design tips for your gingerbread house. If you already made one, then I hope you had as much fun as we did!

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