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.
The Secret Roof Compartment

In case you missed it, last week and 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, 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’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

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 Chimney

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

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!

Next Up

This Purim, Drink Your Cocktails and Eat Them Too

Espresso martini-inspired hamantaschen are just the thing!

Food Network Stars Share Their Best No-Bake Holiday Cookie Recipes

We've got picks from Ree Drummond, Molly Yeh and more!

Change Up Your Cookie Swap — With a Cootie Catcher!

Or maybe you call it a fortune teller. Either way, it's the most fun way to make cookies.

Homemade Rainbow Cookies Are How I’m Honoring Christmas Tradition

I made the best of extra holiday time by recreating a family classic — and learned a few tricks along the way.

6 Easy Holiday Cookies to Make with Kids

Put all their extra energy to good use!

How to Put Together the Perfect Christmas Cookie Gift Box

Choose a fun variety of cookies, bake them up efficiently, pack them beautifully, and earn warm smiles from all your friends and family.

7 Red and White Christmas Cookies to Deck Your Holiday Table

Because red and green aren’t the only Christmas colors!

Why I Ruin a Few Christmas Cookies Every Year

It’s my meaningful way to keep past holiday memories alive.

Gluten-Free Holiday Baking

During holiday baking season, those who are sensitive to or intolerant of gluten needn’t miss out on all the sweet seasonal treats.