Believe us, it’s a thing.
Each year, gingerbread houses come out to play in all their holiday glory. Sparkling with sugar and candies, they look so pretty. In my family, we even at one point instituted an annual “Gingies Contest”, where we teamed up to create gingerbread houses that were then judged by another family member. It’s so much fun!
But have you ever tried to put one of these sweet creations together? The process is a disaster! I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried everything short of actual glue to keep the sides from caving in. Actually, I may once have used glue. You can follow all the kit directions you want, but there’s an art to getting it right.
So imagine my surprise and absolute delight when Tamara told me about an idea she’d seen on The Kitchen (link to article) about creating a savory gingerbread house out of meats, cheeses, and crackers. It’s like turning your typical meat and cheese board (totally not throwing shade at charcuterie, here – we LOVE it) into a 3-D piece of art!
Our inner children jumped at the thought of trying this out, so here we go. We’re walking you through the process step by step, to show you exactly how we created our version of the savory gingerbread house. And FYI, this is WAY easier to get to stay together than the sugary version! Rejoice!
Here’s what you’ll need:
You can substitute as you like based on your personal preferences and dietary restrictions. That’s the really great thing about this – it’s versatile!
- Cream cheese blocks (2-3)
- Store-bought cheese balls (we used 2)
- Hard breadsticks
- Pretzel squares
- Pretzel sticks
- Crackers – a combination of rectangle and square
- Charcuterie meats of your choice (we used pepperoni)
- Beef jerky-style meat stick (for chimney)
- Mozzarella balls
- Fresh rosemary
- Fresh thyme
- Fresh dill
- Black olives
- Pomegranate seeds
- Spreadable cheese
- Feta cheese
- Grated parmesan cheese
How to assemble your savory gingerbread house:
Before starting, chose the type of platter to use as your base. We used a circular serving platter. Spread a light spread of cream cheese across the base. It’s going to be your “snowy” yard.
Then, start building up the frame of your house with the cream cheese mixture. Try to generally shape it like a house.
Start adding your siding. We choose a combination of breadsticks (logs) and pistachios and crispy chick pea snacks (stones).
Make sure to leave room for your front door. We used a Club cracker, with a “window” overlay using a square pretzel. You can use your spreadable cheese as “glue” to assemble the door and window.
Next, we added layers of pepperoni as our shingled roof, and left room for a chimney, which was a chopped off piece of a beef jerky-style stick. We topped off the roof pitch with one long breadstick, and then piped our spreadable cheese across the top and edges to look like snow.
We added two wreaths to our windows from rosemary sprigs and pomegranate seeds, for decoration.
Lastly, the yard. Using beef sticks and rosemary sprigs, we made an adorable fir tree.
We then pitted a mushroom, filled it with hummus, thyme sprigs, and pomegranate seeds – and placed it on the side of the house as a potted plant.
And for the crème de la crème – our snowman. He was crafted from a mushroom as the base, toothpicked to two mozzarella balls. We chopped up a black olive to get pieces for the eyes, and gave him pretzel stick arms.
The only last thing to do was to sprinkle some feta cheese and grated parmesan cheese around the scene as freshly fallen snow… and then of course, it’s time to dig in!
We absolutely LOVE how this savory gingerbread house turned out – and we hope you have fun making your own version with your family this year! Be sure to snap a few pics and tag us on Instagram and Facebook – and save this article on Pinterest as well! Happy making!