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Padma Lakshmi Shares the Gingerbread House Hack You’ll Wish You’d Known Sooner

If there’s one universal truth during the holidays, it’s that making a gingerbread house isn’t as easy as it looks. Sure, the directions are easy enough to follow, but when all is said and done, you’re left with a drooping monstrosity that looks nothing like the image on the box.

Top Chef host and author of three cookbooks Padma Lakshmi gets it. That’s why she’s here to save the holiday with one gingerbread house hack we only wish we’d known sooner.

In a recent interview with Architectural Digest, Lakshmi spilled the tip that took her years to figure out.

“Most of the directions that come with the kit tell you to make the house with the icing and then decorate,” she told the publication. “I’m telling you, you should not do that. Instead, get the different pieces — the sides, the roof, etc. — lay them flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and decorate them first. Because what happens is once you glue it, everything slides.”

Lakshmi goes on to say that she and her 8-year-old daughter, Krishna, draw out every panel, lay them flat and let them dry. Apparently, this take them several days to complete because they’ll return to the panels the next day to add more to it.

“You can’t do it all at once,” Lakshmi warned, adding that “it’s like an oil painting.”

Considering we’re still eight days away from Christmas, Lakshmi’s very Martha Stewart process is still doable — that is if you want to spend that much time on a gingerbread house.

Lakshmi went on to reveal her favorite holiday cooking traditions, which include baking a batch of sugar cookies, heavy on the cinnamon.

“I call them tea cookies,” Lakshmi told AD. “I actually like them to stay in the oven a couple of extra minutes so they get hard and crispy, then we just decorate them with sprinkles and some icing.”

Lakshmi can currently be seen in season 16 of Top Chef, which airs on Thursday nights at 9/8c on Bravo.

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