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Pumpkin Spice Bread Halloween House

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Picture of Pumpkin Spice Bread Halloween House
Gingerbread houses are huge at Christmas, but this year I wanted to make one for Halloween. (It is my favorite holiday after all.) But gingerbread is such a Christmas flavor, I didn't think it fit. I searched high and low for a pumpkin spice cookie recipe I could use to make a house, but none existed! I also didn't want to use a kit, because those gingerbread pieces are ROCK hard and not very tasty.

So, I created a new recipe! This pumpkin spice cookie is soft and delicious, and sturdy enough to use to build a house! This wonderful instructable will take you through the step by step process of making the recipe and decorating the house! This is fun and easy to do with your family and friends!

What you'll need:

Pumpkin Spice Cookie Recipe:
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree- strained (Don't worry, we'll go over this later)
3-4 cups of flour (We'll go over this as well.)

Tools:
-5/16 inch wood dowel rods (Not necessary, but very helpful. Find these at Home Depot or Lowes.)
-rolling pin
-straight and serrated knives (KIDS- ask your parents for help!)
-frosting bags (you can also use plastic sandwich bags)
-round frosting tips (not necessary, but helpful to make finer lines)
-large mixing bowl
-electric mixer
-thin towel such as a tea-towel or cheese cloth

Decorations:
-food coloring- We used black, purple, green, orange, and brown
-canned frosting (or you can use your own recipe if you have one)- We used 2-3 cans of cream cheese, and one can of milk chocolate. I recommend buying an extra can just in case. You can always use it later if you don't end up needing it.
-candy corn pumpkins
-black licorice
-rectangle marshmallows- These can be found at most grocery stores. You can also use graham crackers or some other rectangular (gravestone shaped) cookie.
-orange colored chocolate candies
-bloody bones candies- We found these at our large Walmart.
-cookie sheet or cardboard for the base- We used a white cake board.
 
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Step 1: Cookie Recipe Part 1

Picture of Cookie Recipe Part 1
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Let's get started on our dough.

Get a large mixing bowl and combine the brown sugar, sugar, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, ground cloves, and baking soda. Stir using some non-electric device (to avoid spice poofs that will make you sneeze) until it's well combined. I use one of the beaters by itself, but you could use a spoon, a fork, a chopstick, your hands, whatever you want!

Pumpkin Spice Cookie Recipe:
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree- strained
3-4 cups of flour

Step 2: Cookie Recipe Part 2

Picture of Cookie Recipe Part 2
Add the softened butter and mix with your electric mixer until it is very well combined. Your mixture will resemble moist crumbs. This may take a minute or two.

TIP- If your butter is cold, put it in the microwave for about 10-12 seconds. Squeeze gently- if it's soft it's ready to use. If not, keep heating for a few seconds at a time. DO NOT LIQUIFY, as this will affect the flour ratio later on.

TIP- You really want to mix the butter in. If there are chunks of butter left when you finish your dough, this will compromise the stability of the cookie. Mix mix mix!

Pumpkin Spice Cookie Recipe:
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree- strained
3-4 cups of flour

Step 3: Cookie Recipe Part 3

Picture of Cookie Recipe Part 3
Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. (Simple step!)

Pumpkin Spice Cookie Recipe:
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla

1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree- strained
3-4 cups of flour

Step 4: Cookie Recipe Part 4

Picture of Cookie Recipe Part 4
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To strain the pumpkin puree, you'll need your towel (or cheese cloth) and a bowl to squeeze the juice into. Put a couple of spoonfuls of puree in the towel and squeeze. When you've removed enough of the juice, the puree will have a consistency of extra soft play dough. Do this for the rest of the pumpkin.

TIP: Why squeeze the juice out? After you're done straining the juice, you'll see just how much is in one can of pumpkin puree. The amount of flour needed to off-set that juice turns the dough terribly bland. So we get rid of the juice, but keep the pumpkin!

Pumpkin Spice Cookie Recipe:
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree- strained
3-4 cups of flour

Step 5: Cookie Recipe Part 5

Picture of Cookie Recipe Part 5
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Next, add two cups of flour and mix with your mixer.

And the third cup of flour and mix with a wooden spoon. At this point I switch to a wooden spoon and my hands to finish the dough because it's too thick for my poor mixer.

Now, this is where the vague 3-4 cups of flour comes in. We've already added 3 cups. Depending on how much pumpkin juice you extracted and how humid your climate is, you might need different amounts of flour. From this point on, add flour 1/4 cup at a time and mix thoroughly. I generally switch to my hands at this point. If the dough sticks badly to my hands, I'll add another 1/4 cup. When the dough is still slightly wet, but doesn't stick to your hands, you've added enough flour.

TIP: The first time I made this recipe I used 3 1/4 cups of flour. The last time I made it it was a humid, rainy day, and I needed 3 3/4 cups of flour. Don't be afraid to add more. Just do it small amounts at a time so you don't overload your dough.

Pumpkin Spice Cookie Recipe:
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree- strained
3-4 cups of flour

Step 6: Cookie Recipe FINAL STEP

Picture of Cookie Recipe FINAL STEP
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Front and Back.jpg
Template Roof and Sides.jpg
Lightly flour your work surface so you can roll out your dough and place the dowel rods on either side of the flour. Place a fistful of dough between the dowel rods and roll out your dough, making sure the dowel rods stay underneath your rolling pin. I've included images that show the dimensions of the pieces I used to build my house. You may copy those, or you can make your own!

Carefully cut your dough using the templates. (Kids, ask your parents for help cutting!) Place on a cookie sheet (and I recommend using some parchment paper), and bake at 325 F for 14 minutes.

TIP: You can roll out your dough without dowel rods. However, the dowel rods ensure a uniform thickness of your dough, which increases the stability of your house.

TIP: This dough can be used to make regular cookies, but I would decrease the baking time to 10-12 minutes. I bake them longer for the house pieces to make them slightly harder and sturdier.

Step 7: Building the House

Picture of Building the House
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Congratulations! You just baked your Halloween house from scratch! Let's build it!

Now, the first thing you might notice is some of the pieces may have warped. This usually happens when transferring the dough from your counter to the cookie sheet. No problem! As you can see in the picture, you just need to shave a little off to make the sides of your house the same height as the front and back. I also shaved a little off the bottom to give it a flatter edge for "gluing". (Kids, ask your parents for help with using knives!)

You don't need to worry too much. The great thing about this being a creepy, crooked, haunted house is that it's okay if it ends up crooked! It just adds to the Halloweenyness (definitely a word).

Using your frosting in a frosting bag (or sandwich bag), pipe some onto each end and glue the four walls together. Hold them up with canned food and other items from your pantry. I let this sit for about 45 minutes before putting the roof on. (It was raining the day I made this, so it may take less time for the frosting to set depending on where you live.)

Pipe frosting on all top edges and put each side of the roof on. Put taller cans under the roof pieces to keep them from sliding down. (Darn gravity!)

Let sit for another 2 hours, and by then the whole house should be set and ready to decorate!

TIP: We placed our house just a little further to one side than the other, making more room for the graveyard in the back.

Step 8: Let's Decorate! Part 1

Picture of Let's Decorate! Part 1
Decorating this house should be done like a painting- FROM THE TOP DOWN. I'm not the decorating police; you can be a rebel. But chances are if you start with decorating the ground first, you wrist will end up in the pumpkin patch at some point.

SO, making black frosting is like making red frosting. Really hard. To cheat, mix black food coloring with chocolate frosting! That way most of the work is done for you, you get a much better color, and you have to use far less food coloring.

First I piped around the seams to cover up my white icing.Then I piped along the middle of the roof, and my little sister put orange candies all along it.

To make the spider web design, start by piping straight lines out from the top corners. Then connect those with angled lines that go kind of in a circle. Voila! Spiderweb rooftop!

Step 9: Let's Decorate! Part 2

Picture of Let's Decorate! Part 2
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Doors and windows! I made crooked doors and windows that kind of look like they're melting! Remember, your lines don't need to be perfect. That way it looks more broken-down and creepy!

After adding the doors and windows I felt the house was missing something. I asked my little sister for input.

Her response: "GREEEN SLIIIIME."

Genius.

So just take your green frosting and just squish it in there. Make it look like it's oozing out the cracks and running down. It kind of makes you want to go MWAHAHAHA! (Which is completely appropriate, by the way.)

TIP: To make your green frosting less Springtime colored, add a little brown.

Step 10: Let's Decorate! Part 3

Picture of Let's Decorate! Part 3
Spread your green frosting to make your front lawn. And then every house needs a walkway- a creepy, crooked, cobblestone walkway! We used our black licorice to outline it, then filled in the orange candies as the cobblestones. Stick some candy corn pumpkins around for good measure.

TIP: You may be tempted to spread green all across your board all at once. I recommend doing it in chunks like this. Otherwise it may dry too fast, and you'll have a hard time getting your decorations to stick.

Step 11: Let's Decorate! Part 4

Picture of Let's Decorate! Part 4
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What grows on the side of a haunted Halloween house? A pumpkin patch and frightening flowers of course! Spread your green and stick a bunch of candy corn pumpkins in a cluster. Now you have a wonderful pumpkin patch!

On the other side, use your frosting bag to pipe some freaky black and purple flowers.

Step 12: Let's Decorate! Part 5- The End!

Picture of Let's Decorate! Part 5- The End!
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My favorite part- the graveyard! Take your marshmallows or cookies or whatever you're using to make the headstones, and use your black frosting to pipe RIP onto them. Let those sit for a few minutes to let the frosting dry.

Spread your green frosting to make the back lawn. You'll want to spread this thicker than the rest so that the headstones have enough frosting to stick in to. (You might notice my back yard is slightly darker than the sides and front yard. Perhaps this is due to the grass feeding off the things buried in the graveyard. Or perhaps I ran out of green frosting and had to make more but it didn't turn out the same color. We will never know!)

So take your headstones and stick them in the thick green frosting. We cut the corners off a few to make them look like they were sinking and falling over.

Lastly, spread the bloody bones all over! Make a couple piles here and there for extra creepyness.

And you're done! Now you have a totally freaky work of art you can admire and devour! Upload pictures to your tumblrs and instagrams and let me know what you guys make!

***If you like this instructable, please vote for it for the Halloween Food Contest! Thank you so much!
Very nice job!
Totes adorbs! Gr8 for Halloween!:)
Bubtroge1 year ago
It has such a tasty view)I love it already
MiniMeDrew1 year ago
love it I don't like the Christmas one's but I might try this one great job and toturial ty for sharing you got my vote
thielio (author)  MiniMeDrew1 year ago
Thank you!
I was just thinking about making one of these today, but you perfected it so I'm not even going to try, ha! :D

Great job!
thielio (author)  jessyratfink1 year ago
Gosh thanks! This is my first instructable, so I'm glad you like it!