Holiday charcuterie board: been there, done that.
Holiday charcuterie “gingerbread” house: oh, hello.
For those who seek the incredible in the edible, there is nothing more spectacular or delicious than the three-dimensional charcuterie chalet. It’s the perfect centerpiece for your grazing table and a guaranteed showstopper at any holiday party. Plus, it’s a fun project in which the whole family can participate.
Are you ready to put on your construction hat and get cracker-ing? Let’s dive right in!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
It’s best to think of your charcuterie house in two separate parts: a sturdy yet edible construction that serves as your base and the delicious, poppable meats, cheeses, and snacks that guests want to enjoy easily and without compromising the structure.
You will also need two kinds of “glue”: one that has a stronghold for the base and one with good flavor for the accouterments.
For your base, you will want to choose strength over flavor, both in your siding and your glue. We’ve found that Wasa crackers are an excellent choice for sturdiness.
Two or three of them glued together are also about the same size and width as your traditional gingerbread house. We don’t really recommend eating this layer (it’s not super tasty!).
For your accouterments, choose any meats, cheeses, and snacks that you like, with bonus points for anything that adds to the holiday vibes. Mini strings of popcorn and cranberries or dried and candied fruit have a lovely vintage feel.
Mozzarella balls or tiny wheels of brie can easily become snowmen when stacked. Even prosciutto makes a lovely rose hedge when twisted in just the right way.
Because you don’t typically eat your base layer, you could just use hot glue, but what’s the fun of that?! Instead, find a spreadable cheese that becomes rock hard when left out.
Truth be told, the best cement that we’ve found is spray cheese–we know, right? But something about the alien compounds in it makes it absolutely perfect for supporting your charcuterie house.
For accouterment glue, we make our own spreadable herb cheese, using some light cream cheese (not the whipped kind), fresh chives, parsley, and basil, a little bit of lemon juice, and a pinch of flaky sea salt.
Start off with a cookie sheet covered in your favorite wrapping paper to create a flat yet festive surface.
Construct your base using Wasa crackers and your base glue. We recommend laying out your side first before gluing to be sure that your structure will fit well together.
Measure how many crackers you will need on the ends of the house to ensure that the roof can meet precisely in the middle.
Once you’ve done your planning (and maybe a little bit of math), start gluing your pieces together. Stick together each part of your siding first, then glue each side to the other.
Let everything dry completely before carefully adding your roof.
Once your base has dried completely, it’s time for the fun part! Fill a piping bag with your spreadable accouterment glue, and start decorating.
Here’s what we’ve done for decor in the past:
Triscuits “bricks.” Use a dot of accouterment glue to attach Triscuit crackers to the sides of your base. They look like bricks but can be easily removed for eating.
Pretzel stick shiplap. Pretzel sticks are an amazing dupe for wood paneling or columns. Use your glue to cement them onto the eaves, corners, or porch of your house. We like using twisted pretzel sticks for added visual appeal.
Soppressata shingles. Cut slices of soppressata in half, then apply to the base for a classic scalloped roof. You could also use round-cut slices of a hard cheese such as cheddar or gruyere here.
Mozzarella or brie snowmen. Find a small, round cheese, then stack two or three on top of each other and secure with a toothpick. Peppercorns make for delightful little eyes!
Marcona almond walkway. The flat, round Marcona almond is the perfect material for a cobblestone path to the front of the house.
Fresh herb garlands. Use sprigs of rosemary and thyme to bedeck the halls of your house. They can also make great wreaths or landscaping!
You’ve done it! An amazing holiday treat that doubles as a work of art. Be sure to take lots of pictures, and tag us if you decide to share.