My pretzel cabin with a graham cracker roof and vanilla wafer windows
I LOVE the idea of gingerbread houses, but I don’t really like the reality of rolling out stiff dough, dealing with a flour-covered kitchen or cursing at crumbling soft gingerbread walls. So as I was sharing these thoughts with my best friend, Tera, she said, “You should make a pretzel log home! It looks really cool and you’d just stack the pretzels and use graham crackers as the roof!” Tera’s so smart. Everyone should have a go-to friend like her. (She made my red velvet wedding cake, too.) Anyway, she forwarded me a recipe online that I used, and I’ll share my experiences in case you want to try this recipe.
The side of my cabin shows my marshmallow snowman, icecream cone tree and chocolate sugar wafer chimney.
First off, this is a PERFECT recipe to make with friends and/or family as a weekend project. The recipe says it’ll take you an hour and 40 minutes. Yeah. If you’re Martha Stewart or have some sort of crazy cake show on the Discovery Channel it might. So dedicate a weekend to this since time is spent waiting on parts of the pretzel house to dry.
1. INGREDIENT TIME: Basically, I bought a big tub of pretzel rods (for the walls), a package of vanilla and chocolate wafers (for the doors and windows) and a box of graham crackers (for the roof) at Aldi (it’s cheaper for this stuff). Then at the regular grocery store I got 2 small packages of Meringue Mix (each has about 6 tablespoons) you can find near the spices. I already had the green food coloring and powdered sugar. This is important: Buy enough for TWO BATCHES of icing (12 cups of powered sugar)- the online recipe doesn’t make enough for gluing and decorating. (Then you can buy whatever candies you want to decorate with- pecans for shingles or peppermints, etc.)
2. GET MESSY: First, you’re going to make a mess making the icing. (Make one batch at a time- two total) But it makes the PERFECT glue. Mix it first with a spoon to wet the powdered sugar and meringue mix. When you’re done, keep a wet paper towel over the icing bowl when you’re not working with it. (it’ll dry out otherwise). The recipe is confusing about how to stack the pretzel rods: make the first square of the walls flush against the ground (aluminum-covered foil) with one of the ends of each pretzel rod jutting-out a 1/2-inch and the other end pushed against the other pretzel. Then ALTERNATE the rods so the ends LOOK like a Lincoln-log cabin. Use the pictures for reference.
-I used my fingers to apply the icing between the pretzels because applying it with an icing bag was actually TOO messy. Also, once you glue together your graham cracker pieces together and ice them, WAIT so they harden together before trying to move them to place them on top of the cabin. And when you do, use cans or corn starch boxes to prop up the roof before it dries.
Adding the icicles was my favorite part of decorating the graham cracker roof.
3. DECORATE IT! This is the fun part. Get a small icing tip or cut the corner of a plastic bag and fill with icing to pipe icicles off the roof and to make trees, use sugar cones, turn them upside-down and pipe green icing onto them. (I bought the peppermint tree at Aldi.) For “snow”- I just sprinkled powdered sugar over the whole deal.
4. SHOW IT OFF! I was really lucky to have nothing break or fall during the construction, so I took many pictures of my cabin before it gets picked-at/eaten. (I even eventually added 2 figurines I coated in chocolate to the front porch of Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler.)
If you want to try this or have any questions, post a comment and I’ll try to help! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!