How to make an edible snow-covered pretzel log cabin

Dec 18, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. ET

This pretzel log cabin is a fun, no-bake alternative to gingerbread houses and a great Christmas craft to make with your kids.

Not only is it fun to make and eat, but it also makes an impressive centerpiece for your holiday table.

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You can decorate your house with candy if you want, but our family really likes the clean, rustic look of just pretzels and crackers.

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Start by choosing your platter. I went with a simple white square platter. You can use anything from a large plate to a foil-covered baking sheet. Arrange 4 pretzel sticks in a square with an end sticking out on each corner. At this point, decide which wall will have your front door. As you'll see in the next photo, you'll need to cut a segment out of that pretzel stick.

pretzel-log-cabin-tutorial

Pipe icing onto the top of each pretzel stick, and add on another layer of sticks, alternating which ends stick out. I like to use lots of extra icing on the inside corners to help reinforce the house.

pretzel-log-cabin-tutorial

Once your house is 4 pretzels tall, it's time to add a window. Just as you did with the door, cut a segment out of the 5th pretzel for your side wall. Use 2 shorter pieces of pretzel to form the sides of your window. Continue building up your walls, using broken or cut-off pieces on the sides of the cabin with the door and window.

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When you reach the top of your window (it was 5 pretzel sticks high for me), start using whole pretzels for that side wall.

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For the final layer of your house, use a complete pretzel above the door.

pretzel-log-cabin-tutorial

Now it's time to build your roof. It will consist of 4 assembled pieces — the 2 diagonal pieces (made with Wheat Thins) and the front and back triangles (made with pretzels). I made my roof 9 Wheat Thins long, which overlapped the length of the pretzel walls really nicely. Put a dab of icing on the side of your Wheat Thin, and then place another 1 overlapping it. Repeat this until you have 9 in a row, then draw a line of frosting along the whole row.

pretzel-log-cabin-tutorial

Repeat this with your next row, sticking them into the line of icing that's on your 1st row. My roof pieces were 5 rows.

pretzel-log-cabin-tutorial

Next, you need to cover your entire roof piece with icing and stick a piece of folded-up foil onto it. This isn't 100 percent necessary, but it really helps your roof to not crack when you put it together. Repeat the whole process with more Wheat Thins to make your 2nd roof piece.

pretzel-log-cabin-tutorial

For the triangles, you need 7 pretzel pieces that get progressively smaller. The 1st (bottom) piece should be about an inch shorter than a whole pretzel stick. Use frosting to stick the pieces together, and then cover them all in more frosting to help them be really sturdy once it dries. At this point, let all your pieces and your cabin dry for at least 1 hour.

pretzel-log-cabin-tutorial

Once dry, it's time to attach the triangle pieces. Use a generous amount of icing on the top pretzels that are on the front and back sides of the house, and then place your triangle pieces in the frosting. You can use the Wheat Thins box to help prop up the triangles as they dry. Let them dry in place at least 1 hour before attaching the rest of the roof.

pretzel-log-cabin-tutorial

Pipe icing thickly on the edges of your front and back triangles and on the top of the pretzel wall between them. Place 1 roof piece into the icing.

pretzel-log-cabin-tutorial

Repeat this with the other side of the roof, and then pipe more icing underneath the edges of the roof to help provide support and to cover up the foil. You'll notice a space between the roof pieces at the top.

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Place a pretzel stick into the space between the roof pieces, resting it on the top of your 2 triangle pieces. Cover this pretzel with lots and lots of icing.

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For your side wall with the window, use icing to glue a broken piece of pretzel under the window for a windowsill. Cover this piece with icing for snow.

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Use icing to glue 3 broken pieces of pretzel in place for a doorframe. Let the cabin dry for another hour before adding icicles.

pretzel-log-cabin-tutorial

To make icicles around the cabin, use a small round tip on your icing bag (I like a #2 or #3), and pipe a line of frosting along the edge of the cracker you're working on.

pretzel-log-cabin-tutorial

Begin piping into that line of icing, but pull your tip down (holding the bag perpendicular to the icicle). Stop squeezing the bag, and keep pulling until you're left with a drip of icing hanging from the roof. Make sure to add icicles to your door and windowsill as well.

pretzel-log-cabin-tutorial

How to make a pretzel log cabin

This snow-covered log cabin is a great no-bake craft for the whole family. We like to use the icing as our only sweets on the cabin, but feel free to decorate it with candy if you'd like.

Serves 20

Prep time: 2 hours | Inactive time: 3 hours | Total time: 5 hours

Ingredients:

  • 55 large pretzel rods (I used two 12-ounce bags)
  • 1 box Wheat Thins
  • 5 egg whites
  • 6 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer until frothy.
  2. While mixing on low, add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.
  3. Beat the icing on high for 6 to 8 minutes, until glossy, stiff peaks form.
  4. Arrange 4 pretzel rods in a square with an end sticking out on each corner. The wall that will have the front door will need a segment cut out of it.
  5. Pipe icing onto the top of each pretzel stick, and add on another layer of sticks, alternating which ends stick out. Use lots of extra icing on the inside corners to help reinforce the house.
  6. Repeat with additional pretzels.
  7. Once your house is 4 pretzels tall, it's time to add a window by cutting a segment out of the 5th pretzel for your side wall. Use 2 shorter pieces of pretzel to form the sides of your window.
  8. Continue building up your walls, using broken or cut-off pieces on the sides of the cabin with the door and window.
  9. The final layer or 2 of your house should have complete pretzel rods above the door and window.
  10. To make the roof, put a dab of icing on the side of a Wheat Thin, and then place another 1 overlapping it. Repeat this until you have 9 in a row, and then draw a line of frosting along the whole row.
  11. Repeat with the next row of Wheat Thins, sticking them into the line of icing that's on your 1st row. My roof pieces were 5 rows.
  12. Cover your entire roof piece with icing, and stick a piece of folded-up foil onto it. This isn't 100 percent necessary, but it really helps your roof to not crack when you put it together.
  13. Repeat steps 10 to 12 with more Wheat Thins to make your 2nd roof piece.
  14. For the triangles, you need 7 pretzel pieces that get progressively smaller. The 1st (bottom) piece should be about 1 inch shorter than a whole pretzel stick. Use frosting to stick the pieces together, and then cover them all in more frosting to help them be really sturdy once it dries.
  15. Let all your pieces and your cabin dry for at least 1 hour.
  16. Once dry, it's time to attach the triangle pieces. Use a generous amount of icing on the top pretzels on the front and back sides of the house, and then place your triangle pieces in the frosting. You can use the Wheat Thins box to help prop up the triangles as they dry.
  17. Let the triangles dry in place for at least 1 hour before attaching the rest of the roof.
  18. Pipe icing thickly on the edges of your front and back triangles and on the top of the pretzel wall between them. Place 1 roof piece into the icing.
  19. Repeat this with the other side of the roof.
  20. Pipe more icing underneath the edges of the roof to help provide support and to cover up the foil.
  21. Place a pretzel stick into the space between the roof pieces, resting it on the top of your 2 triangle pieces. Cover this pretzel with lots and lots of icing.
  22. For your side wall with the window, use icing to glue a broken piece of pretzel under the window for a windowsill. Cover this piece with icing for snow.
  23. Use icing to glue 3 broken pieces of pretzel in place for a doorframe.
  24. Let the cabin dry for another hour before adding icicles.
  25. To make icicles around the cabin, use a small round tip on your icing bag (I like a #2 or #3), and pipe a line of frosting along the edge of the cracker you're working on.
  26. Begin piping into that line of icing, but pull your tip down (holding the bag perpendicular to the icicle). Stop squeezing the bag, and keep pulling until you're left with a drip of icing hanging from the roof. Make sure to add icicles to your door and windowsill as well.

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