Start to Finish: 1 hour
Makes: 1 house
What You Need:
- Four 5- or 8-ounce milk chocolate bars
- Chocolate creme-filled pirouette cookies
- Two or three 100-calorie packs baked chocolate wafer snacks
- Chocolate-covered espresso beans
- Miniature layered chocolate-mint candies
- One 2-ounce package (2 bars) chocolate-covered caramel-topped cookie bars
- Pretzel sticks
- Chocolate coin
- Semisweet chocolate
- Chocolate Snowman (optional)
- Chocolate Pine Trees (optional)
How to Make It:
- Unwrap chocolate bars; set on cutting board. Use a small serrated knife to carefully cut two of the chocolate bars with the Front and Back pattern (cut slowly and gently so the chocolate doesn't crack or break). Set aside extra chocolate. Cut a third chocolate bar in half crosswise for the Side patterns. Cut the remaining chocolate bar in half for the Roof patterns. Line a baking sheet with foil or waxed paper; set aside.
- Break extra chocolate pieces into smaller bits; place in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on 50 percent power (medium) for 1 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Place slightly cooled melted chocolate in a resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Cut a small hole in one corner of the bag.
- On prepared baking sheet, use tumblers to hold chocolate pieces in place while assembling. Attach the inside edge of a Side wall to the outside edge of a Front wall by piping some of the melted chocolate between the two edges that meet; press pieces firmly together. Attach the other inside edge of a Side wall to the outside edge of a Front wall by piping melted chocolate where the two edges meet; press firmly. Finally, attach the outside edges of the Back piece to the inside edges of the two Side pieces by piping melted chocolate where the two edges meet; press firmly. Hold pieces together with tumblers until chocolate is set.
- Attach the Roof pieces with melted chocolate (if chocolate cools and hardens, microwave on 50 percent power [medium] about 30 seconds or until smooth). If pieces won't fit together perfectly; fill in any holes and gaps with melted chocolate. Hold Roof pieces in place with tumblers until chocolate is set. Pipe more melted chocolate along seams where Roof pieces attach to Front and Back pieces; attach pirouette cookies.
- To add shingles to the roof, pipe melted chocolate along the bottom of a Roof piece. Add a row of chocolate wafer snacks. Pipe more melted chocolate above and on the very top portion of the row of wafers; attach another row of wafers, overlapping the next row over the previous row. Pipe more melted chocolate and rows of wafers until Roof piece is covered; repeat steps with the other Roof piece.
- To decorate, pipe melted chocolate along the bottom outside edge of house; attach chocolate-covered espresso beans in a row along base of house. For windows, use melted chocolate to attach miniature layered chocolate mint candies to the front and sides of house. For the door, cut one chocolate-covered caramel-topped cookie bar in half crosswise; attach with melted chocolate. Frame with pretzel sticks; attach chocolate coin above door. Cover corner seams with chocolate pieces.
- Set Chocolate House on a clean cutting board, baking sheet, or other flat display surface. For snow, sprinkle coarse sugar around the base of the house. If desired, decorate with a Chocolate Snowman and Chocolate Pine Trees.
For the Chocolate Candy House:
Create Chocolate House as directed, except use melted chocolate to attach different candies for decoration. For example, use two sticks of chewing gum for door. Frame with small red, green, and white candies; attach a starlight mint above door. Use a peppermint stick for top of roof; peppermint pillows along roof for trim; and pastel wafer candies (such as Necco wafers) for shingles. Break the ¿hook¿ off candy canes and use for the windows on sides and back of house; use the straight part to cover corner seams.
For the Chocolate Nut House:
Create Chocolate House as directed, except use melted chocolate to attach different nuts for decoration. For example, use a graham cracker for door with an end piece of a sliced almond as a doorknob. Attach slivered almonds and pepitas (e.g. pumpkin seeds) around base of house and use sliced almonds as shingles, with pepitas for color accents. Use a chocolate-covered pretzel rod for a chimney; whole almonds for windows on side of house, accented with small red candies. Use two pecan halves for windows on front of house, accented with pine nuts. Use cashews as decoration above door and peanuts along roof for trim.
For the Chocolate Snowman:
Place a wire rack over waxed paper. Dip two large marshmallows in melted vanilla-flavor candy coating. Let stand on rack until set. Attach the two marshmallows with a toothpick for the snowman body. Add pretzel sticks for arms. If desired, use melted candy coating to attach one white chocolate kiss with stripes for a hat and miniature chocolate chips for eyes, mouth, and buttons.