The first Shamrock Shack used only a small portion of the green candy stacked on our gingerbread bookcase (containing, not made of). Books do occupy the other bookcases, but these shelves houses candies, sprinkles, chocolates, and sugars in every color of the rainbow.
Again, again, and again, it rained. My fledgling photography skills demand natural light, and I had none. So the next sections contain only detailed photos with descriptions. I’ve had to add several links to tutorials elsewhere on The Gingerbread Journal for basics like icing work and assembly.
Decorate the Front of the House
I did take the time to color the royal icing brown. The brown color camouflages the bits of icing that squish out from under the candies. Small dots of white icing work also, but I prefer to firmly cement things in place with larger glops of brown. Shiny, smooth candies such as the gum balls need more icing than rough items like the gumdrop hearts.
Slice green marshmallow ropes into door-length sections and ice them in place.
Top the the door with a green gumdrop fruit slice.
Surround the door with green and white candies. Here I’ve used heart shaped gumdrops, green gum balls,white hearts, green beads from a candy necklace, metallic green dragees, and green and white sugar pearls.
Use white icing to attach four green, heart-shaped sprinkles (the shamrock) to a white candy wafer. Attach this to the marshmallow door.
Add the front window when you do the side windows.
Attach three green heart-shaped candies and a green metallic dragee over the window.
Decorate the Sides of the House
Use brown royal icing to attach a green foil-wrapped chocolate coin for the window.
Score a white candy wafer down the middle with a sharp knife. Snap it to break it into two half-circles.
Four green, heart-shaped sprinkles with the points together in the center form the small shamrocks on each shutter. Attach the sprinkles with white royal icing.
Use brown icing to attach the shutters on both sides of the window.
Decorate the Back of the House
Use brown royal icing to attach rainbows of candy across the back of the house.
You’ll need bigger dots of icing to attach anything smooth or shiny.
Slice the gumdrop fruit slices in half to make them thinner and lighter.
I found the small square gum pieces at Dollar Tree.
Let it Dry!!!
This “Let it Dry” instruction merits at least three exclamation points because we just attached relatively large, heavy candies. The icing must dry completely before you assemble the house.
Assemble the House
Score and break four green candy canes to the correct length to cover the joints of the four walls. Beware — humid air will dissolve candy canes into a sticky, gooey, mess. If you don’t want to gamble with the weather, leave the canes wrapped in the clear cellophane. Make absolutely certain that you warn the gingerbread house’s ultimate consumers that the inedible cello wrap is still there! You can attach the candy canes as you cement the four walls together, or attach them later when you add the roof or landscaping.
Let it Dry!!!
The structure, including the roof, must stand tall, strong, and dry before you add the weight of the M&M’s.
Tile the Roof
Starting at the bottom edge of one roof panel, use at generous amount of brown royal icing to attach green (mint) M&M’s in a straight line. Generally speaking, M&M’s make excellent roof tiles. These mint-flavored, green-colored chocolates however, aren’t identical. Their size and shape varies just enough to be annoying. I picked through my bag to gather the best of the lot, but as you can see above the tiles don’t line up well. When this blog makes it big, I’ll have to send a note along to the factory requesting “pretty” M&M’s. Do your best.
On the next row of shingles, offset each chocolate candy to stagger the lineup.
Continue to the top of the roof panel, then shingle the other side.
Cover the roof’s edges with green royal icing shells.
Surround the house with green spearmint leaves and gumdrops. Add gum balls for a dash of color.
Use green and gold foil-wrapped candies such as these to create trees.
Use a chocolate coin the for front doorstep.
Break the sticks off of two rainbow-colored, twirled lollipops and attach them on either side of the door.