Figuring out my theme for this year’s geeky gingerbread showpiece wasn’t very hard. Not only have I been utterly addicted to the newly released Animal Crossing mobile game, Pocket Camp, but began playing New Leaf for the first time a few weeks ago. A truly remarkable amount of my downtime this holiday season has been spent handing out pears to anteaters.
Pocket Camp didn’t provide great gingerbread house inspiration, since most of the structures are camping tents. Previous Animal Crossing games provide tons of fodder for gingerbread designs, though! New Leaf features a sweets themed exterior that’s basically just a gingerbread house, and Happy Home Designer featured a really cute candy-themed house as well. I decided to mix lots of elements from these two exteriors in addition to some of the Christmas items featured in Pocket Camp.
Like every year… step one is creating a good template! The house itself is super simple, so this was pretty simple.
As I do every year, I chose a gingerbread recipe that was free of leavening and sturdy. My favorite recipe is from Haneila’s and I have used it for years! I implemented all the tricks outlined in my 5 Tips For Perfect Gingerbread Houses post: rolling directly onto a silicone mat, trimming while the gingerbread it still warm, etc.
I also decided to make a gingerbread base for a Christmas tree. I made a cone out of aluminum foil as a mold. Additionally, I made a cookie that would become everyone’s favorite helpful secretary… Isabelle! I designed a little Christmas dress for her, which was more fun than I’d like to admit. I forgot to photograph it, but I also baked up a small hollow tube to serve as a mailbox.
Once everything was cooled, I assembled the house with some royal icing that I tinted to match the dough using spices and food coloring. I also began adding some graham cracker and chocolate square bits for garnish.
I made a kidney-shaped base out of some cardboard boxes I had around, glued the house to it and let the whole shebang dry for a while.
Which bring us to a stopping point. Next up: we begin the detail work!