Pictured here is a candy house I made a few days ago at my fiancee's in Pennsylvania. This was my first Christmas away from my parents and sister, and while I missed them, Mary Kate's folks made me feel right at home.
One of the rituals at their household is to construct miniature houses with graham crackers and candy - held together by a mix of confectionery sugar and egg whites. The first step is to create the base. Once the four sides are glued together, one begins work on the roof. After the icing hardens and the frame is forged, the fun begins.
The best part of constructing a candy house is decorating it with yummy treats. We had at our disposal 30 different types of candy, ranging from M&Ms and Skittles to malt balls, gum drops, gummy bears, Tootsie Rolls and caramel squares.
The challenge is figuring out: 1) what motif you are going to use for your house, and 2) which candies are best for the job.
I ultimately decided to go with a smiley-face theme. Each side contained a variation of a friendly smirk, with different candies used to compose each one.