Saturday, December 22, 2012

Brady Builds a Gingerbread House & Bakes Cookies

We had a lot going on with the holidays and traveling home, so I'm just getting around to some of the posts from right before Christmas.  Andy and I have been buying a gingerbread kit, whether it be a tree, house, train, etc, since we started dating.  Last year, Brady was only able to look on and this year we were very excited for him to participate.  We haven't done a big house since our first year together, so that's the kit I grabbed while shopping.  Brady instantly fell in love, calling it his cookie house.  It sat on the counter for about a week before we got around to building it, but Brady never let us forget that we needed to build the cookie house.

Andy has been greatly frustrated in the past with kits that you have to break the pieces apart yourself because they never break evenly on the scored lines.  This kit came with premixed icing and the gingerbread pieces already separated, so he was very happy.  Brady insisted on smelling the gingerbread pieces.  Call it quality control if you will ;)

Brady held onto the gingerbread (or cookie) man while Andy put all the pieces of the house together.

Look at that smile.

He assisted in putting the gingerbread man into the slot.

Brady was a master decorator.  I held onto the icing bag and he told me exactly where to ice, then he put the candy where he wanted.

Deep in concentration.

He was very gentle and put the pieces on without jostling the main house pieces as the icing was drying.

The entire week we were prepping to drive home to Pittsburgh, is always a huge frenzy of cookie baking in our house.  We make several varieties and usually we ice the sugar and gingerbread with royal icing.  Since that contains raw egg whites, it's not safe for small children.  We only iced a few with regular cookie icing last year for Brady and I think he ate a total of two of them.  He's much older now and we knew he'd eat plenty this year.  I bought several bags of cookie icing and sprinkles so that he could decorate the kid safe cookies.  You can see in the picture above that all of those sugar cookies are for him to ice.  That means there was that same amount that we iced with royal icing.  Yep, that's a lot of cookies (and only one of the varieties we make).

I would hold the icing bag over the cookie and he'd use both hands to squeeze out a good amount.  Then he'd use a kid-sized spatula to spread it around (with me guiding when he got a little crazy).

The sprinkles were hit or miss.  Sometimes he'd do a small shake and other times, he'd empty half the bottle.

He loved icing the cookies so much, that he insisted that he help Nana when she was making cookies.  She was using candy melts to ice hers and told him it was too hot, but he was insistent.  He helped her sprinkle, then he helped place Hershey's kisses on pretzels for a fun snack.  He just genuinely loves to help!

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