Each year, I bake a Halloween-themed cake for dessert on October 31st. Because you just can't have too much sugar on that night.
Over the years, I've covered most of the usual suspects, from ghosts to witches to monsters to jack-o-lanterns to pumpkin patches to werewolves. Something I've never made, however, but often considered, is a Halloween gingerbread house. I've dreamed of one day creating something like this:
Or perhaps this:
Or maybe even an entire gingerbread village:
But inevitably, reality rears its ugly head and I am reminded of my . . . less-than-stellar decorating skills. I'm no stranger to gingerbread. I've attempted gingerbread houses at Christmas. And the less said about that, the better. So after a few moments of quiet reflection, all thoughts of Halloween gingerbread glory are banished from my mind while I plan my next monster cake.
Until this year.
Because someone in the Canadian Living Test Kitchen (probably someone like me) designed a Halloween gingerbread house for the shaping-and-frosting-challenged. And it is truly simple, yet brilliant.
A haunted gingerbread shack.
Slight errors in measuring the gingerbread pieces? No problem.
Sections deformed and misshapen while being transferred to baking sheet? It's okay.
Difficulty maneuvering a piping bag? Forget about it.
The beauty of the gingerbread shack? The more you screw up, the more authentic it looks. You can't go wrong. Had this been the typical gingerbread house, mine would have been a disaster. Edges not quite straight. Pieces unevenly rolled. Too long. Too short. Too crumbly. With the gingerbread shack, it's all part of the plan.
And the broken windows and giant rats just add to the charm.
(Nice gingerbread houses courtesy of Flickr)