9 Ways To Reuse A Stale Gingerbread House During The 2017 Holidays & Ensure No Dessert Goes To Waste

As the holiday season rolls along on its merry way, it's not uncommon to find yourself with piles of sweet treats. And while it's tempting to lose hope and toss out old desserts, take a moment to learn about how to use a stale gingerbread house. I mean, candy canes will last forever, and seasonal pies are usually gobbled up overnight, anyway. But what about a gingerbread house, something that was barely even edible before it was built?

If you typically buy gingerbread house kits from the store, this probably sounds all too familiar. The cookie pieces are usually rock hard right out of the box, so it only makes sense that they are only used as festive holiday decor. Plus, since we can't all make beautiful gingerbread houses, there's a good chance that you're generally left with a gingerbread house fail that, come Dec. 26, often goes straight to the trash. It's OK, we've all been there.

Considering a gingerbread house is really just one big stale cookie, breaking it apart and running it through a high-speed processor will create delicious crumbs. Hard candies should be removed beforehand, but sprinkles and frosting are fair game. You can also break up the house into chunks.

Store the crumbs in an air-tight container, and check out these tasty ways to put them to good use. You can thank me later.

1Pie Crust

Pexels

When I think of stale cookies, my mind automatically goes to a pie crust. It also sounds intimidating, but trust me, it is the easiest thing ever. All you need is crumbs, butter, and a pie plate. After baking it to perfection, use it as a base for custard or pumpkin pie. Visit The Kitchn for a full how-to.

2Truffles

Wild Amor

In crumb form, the coarseness of gingerbread houses are amazing for homemade truffles. It'll hold together creamy ingredients together like pumpkin puree or cream cheese. For example, this recipe at Wild Amor uses crushed graham crackers, but you can easily substitute with gingerbread house crumbs.

3Cereal

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For an idea that requires less effort, mix in gingerbread house chunks into your cereal. It only makes perfect sense during this time of the year, after all. The milk will help soften up the gingerbread house pieces too!

4Ice Cream Topping

Pexels

It might be the dead of winter, but who can say no to ice cream topped with crushed cookies? Your old gingerbread house can easily turn into the ultimate ice cream garnish. To keep the holiday vibes going, eat it with peppermint or chocolate ice cream.

5Milkshake

Kirsten Nunez

With a milkshake, you can take the ice cream idea up a notch. Combine ice cream, milk, and gingerbread house cookies crumbs in a blender and sip away. For some guidance on the proportions, check out this gingerbread cookie-infused milkshake at Bustle.

6French Toast Casserole

Dessert Now, Dinner Later

The only thing better than French toast is French toast casserole. Actually, the only thing better than that is a casserole that involves cookies. All you need to do is add gingerbread house chunks or cookies in between the layers of bread. Even better, choose something seasonal, like this apple French toast casserole recipe by Dessert Now, Dinner Later.

7Glass Rim Garnish

Kirsten Nunez

Glass rim garnishes are so underrated. It's basically another chance to add more deliciousness to lattes, milkshakes, or eggnog. Anything from sugar to spice works well, but don't hesitate to use crumbs from an old gingerbread house. Simply moisten the rim with water or milk and dip into the crumbs. Yes, please.

8Pancakes

Minimalist Baker

I like to think of pancakes as a blank canvas. They're great on their own, but a simple batter has so much for potential. You can literally add anything your stomach desires, from berries to chocolate chips and more berries. Just pick a delicious pancake recipe, like this whole-grain vegan version by Minimalist Baker, and mix in a few scoops of gingerbread house crumbs. Done and done.

9Cookie Butter

Kirsten Nunez

In just three steps, any cookie can become cookie butter if you believe. Oh, and if you follow this cookie butter tutorial at Bustle, too. The post uses gingersnap cookies, but when you're left with a stale gingerbread house, it only makes sense to use that instead.