Gingerbread, schmingerbread: How to make a holiday house out of Rice Krispies and marshmallows
A holiday house — or Christmas cottage — made from Rice Krispies is easier and faster to put together than most conventional gingerbread houses!
The simplicity of this recipe will let you use your imagination to decorate with icing, candies, dried fruit or whatever else comes to mind.
How to make a Rice Krispies Christmas cottage
For the walls (4 pieces)
3 tbsp butter or margarine
1 10-ounce package of marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Preheat oven to 250 F.
Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan. Add marshmallows and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until melted and blended.
Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes (will be boiling). Remove from heat. Add cereal, stirring until well-coated.
Immediately press mixture evenly and very firmly into lightly-greased 17 x 11 x 3/4-inch pan, using greased hands. Let stand 5 minutes.
Use prepared patterns and a sharp knife to cut out the 4 walls.
Place pieces about 1-inch apart on lightly-greased, foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 250 F for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven. Immediately reshape pieces with side of knife. Cool completely on pan. Remove from foil.
For the roof, chimney, door and windows (9 pieces):
Repeat above recipe, adding 2 tablespoons cocoa powder to melted marshmallows. Use prepared patterns to cut out roof (2 pieces), chimney (4 pieces), door (1) and windows (2).
Icing: 4 egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar or lemon juice
5-1/2 cups powdered sugar
Combine egg whites, cream of tartar and icing sugar on low speed of electric mixer until thoroughly mixed. Beat on high speed 7 to 8 minutes or until stiff icing is formed. Using decorating bag and tube or small knife/spatula, glue cottage together with icing, decorate cottage and landscape yard.
Keep bowl covered with damp cloth or plastic wrap to prevent drying.
Rice Krispies Christmas cottage decorations: Leftover pieces of prepared Rice Krispies mixture, leftover additional icing, mini pretzels, peppermints, gumdrops, miniature marshmallows, licorice strings, m&ms, jellybeans, etc. Search the kitchen cupboard for other creative ingredients. Use them to make trees, snowmen, fences and other shapes to decorate the cottage and yard.
How to put the Rice Krispies holiday cottage together
1. Prepare the cottage base. Use foil to cover 38 x 30 cm (15 x 12-inch) firm base (eg. cutting board, tray, plywood piece).
2. Cut out all pattern pieces. Use cardboard, measurements given and scissors. If you wrap each cardboard piece with plastic wrap, you can use them over again.
3. Make cottage walls. See recipe instructions and patterns. Allow to cool completely before assembly.
4. Make cottage roof, chimney, door and windows. See recipe instructions and patterns. Allow to cool completely before assembly.
5. Mix the icing while cottage pieces cool.
6. Erect cottage walls on base. (Position cottage near back of base to leave room for landscaped yard.) Spread icing generously along bottom edge of back wall and stand wall on base. Repeat for side walls, positioning them inside back wall. Repeat for front wall, positioning it outside side walls. Spread icing generously on all inside seams. Let stand 10 minutes.
7. Add the roof. Spread icing on top edges of walls. Set smaller “back” roof piece in position at back of cottage, resting lower edge of roof on top edge of roof. Place second, larger, “front” roof piece in position with lower edge resting on top of front wall. (Roof overhangs cottage only at sides.)
8. Build the chimney. Use icing to attach side pieces of the chimney to inside of front piece and back piece to inside of side pieces. Let stand 10 minutes. Spread icing on bottom of chimney and attach to front roof. Add door and windows Spread icing on one side and place in position on walls.
9. Allow to dry. Place cottage in cool, dry place for 1 hour before decorating. Store remaining icing in plastic bag or airtight container.
10. Decorate cottage. Attach decorations with icing as desired. Plan ahead for correct positioning.
11. Decorate yard. Spread ‘snow’ icing on base and decorate yard as desired. Plan ahead for correct positioning.
12. Keep cottage in cool, dry place (not the refrigerator) until ready to display.