Here is how I create the magic. (And I use the term "create" loosely here. And "magic".)
- I buy several boxes of graham crackers, and I assemble the houses the night before the party using *royal icing, which seems to act as a stronger cement than the store bought icing. (*See recipe below.)
- I learned the hard way that the houses do not have sufficient time to harden if they are constructed the day of the party, and there is nothing sadder at Christmas time than a room full of bawling preschoolers looking at a broken pile of graham crackers.
- Another thing I have learned is "the bigger they are, the EASIER they fall." I usually use 1/2 of the long cracker for each wall and each roof portion when preschoolers are involved. They are sturdier and can handle clumsy hands.
- For the older kids, I use a whole cracker for each wall and 2 whole crackers for each side of the roof, bringing the cracker total to 8 for each house.
- Be generous with the icing. Apply it to each side of the joint, inside and out.If your icing is on the thick side, construction will be easier. See those drippy ones on the right? That was my second batch of icing and it was really too thin for my liking. It made construction more difficult. And drippier.
- Construct the four walls of each house and let them harden about an hour before putting the roof on. This will ensure that the walls are sturdy enough not to slide apart from the weight of the roof.
- The next day, I give each child a glob of store bought icing and a bowl full of candy and LET THE FUN BEGIN!
3 egg whites
4 Cups powdered sugar (1lb.)
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar