When I was growing up, my fondest memories of holiday preparations was making our Rice Krispie houses. We made them for as long as I can remember. There were one or two years when we tried making gingerbread houses but they were flops. One year, our icing wasn’t right and the pieces of the house wouldn’t stick together. Another, the gingerbread broke into tiny pieces when we were trying to assemble it so by the time I had my own family, I didn’t even attempt gingerbread and stuck with what I knew would work.
Rice Krispie houses are easy to make and as an added bonus, as long as you use gluten free Rice Krispies, you can make these gluten free. Some years, we make one large house while other years, each of the kids make their own. One year for Miss Optimism’s December birthday, all the party guests made their own candy house to take home.
To begin, cover a cardboard base with tin foil. Next, make a batch of Rice Krispie square base. (To make these six houses, I had to make 2 batches.)
Melt 1/2 cup butter or margarine with 5 1/2 cups mini marshmallows. You can do this in the microwave or on the stovetop. Stir in 6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal (regular or gluten free). While the mixture is still warm, drop it onto the prepared cardboard bases.
Have the kids shape into the desired shape. This can be the shape of a house or an igloo or a snowman or anything else their imagination comes up with. We usually also shape a small amount of the Rice Krispie mixture into a tree for the yard.
Next, cover the structure and the base with white icing. You can use store bought icing or make your own. We made a simple butter, icing sugar and milk icing. We make a small amount of green icing for the trees.
Next comes the really fun part…decorating the houses with candy. There are no rules or instructions for this part. I like to buy the mint chocolate square wafers because they make good shingles for the roof or shutters or doors. I try to provide an assortment of candies so that they can create whatever they want. (two mini candy canes and a chocolate mint wafer makes a good Santa sleigh!)
To finish off the cute little houses, sprinkle a little bit of icing sugar on top for the look of snow. And then of course there is the eating! Our kids certainly were happy to have their own candy houses to eat.
What are your Christmas traditions? I love this list of Christmas traditions shared by another family.