Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Valentine House

 Crafty people are thick into their Valentine's Day crafting frenzy, but I'm too wrapped up in sewing to give it a moment's thought. So no Valentines this year. However, I made these two years ago, and like most projects, once I started....I couldn't stop.

These couldn't be easier to make, but the trick is to use very stiff royal icing, made with egg white powder powder or egg whites---they are not for eating, so it doesn't matter about raw egg consumption, but not icing made from just powdered sugar and water. The egg white is the cement, baby.

The house is constructed with grahmn crackers. I only "cut" the corner off the top edge of the "lean-to" structure on the side so the roof will lie flush against the wall..

If the icing is thick enough, it's like the greatest tacky glue on earth and it lets you build without stopping for things to dry. Put it in a pastry bag with a generous tip/or hole, round or star, about as big as a pencil.

In my neck of the woods, any unwrapped hard candy starts to ooze---so all candy you use for these must be room temperature stable: jelly beans, conversation hearts, gum drops, skittles, whoppers (the strawberry ones look great but don't eat one---yech!). I don't know why hard candy gets so wet and sticky. In my desert hometown, nothing like that ever happened. I'm sure it is the humidity here.

Anywho, I build these on inverted chinette plates and give them away to teachers/neighbors etc. Once they are dry, you can spray them with some clear Krylon--lightly-- and that helps them live a little longer. Once you start building, it is hard to quit. Two years ago, I made 8 of 'em.

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