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I've made a gingerbread house this year and popped in stained glass windows. The windows are made of crushed up boiled lollies.

I baked the gingerbread, then added the windows, then baked the bread a further 15 minutes. Five days later the windows are melting because of air humidity. How can I stop this from happening? Is there something I can add to the boiled lollies to keep them hard?

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2 Answers 2

To be precise, the lollies are not melting. They are absorbing water from the air.

If you're really just crushing the lollies (not melting them and re-casting them into sheets of "glass") then you're accelerating the absorption process by increasing the surface area.

Does it need to be out in the open for five days? I'm surprised the gingerbread hasn't gone soggy (actually, I'm surprised it's not been eaten). I would consider putting it in an airtight box until it's ready to serve.

Otherwise, you might be able to make the windows last longer by reducing their water content. Put the crushed lollies in a pan, bring them to the boil and let them simmer to lose more water. Use a sugar thermometer to find the necessary stopping point. Be careful not to burn the sugar. Then pour onto a flat greased surface, to solidify into "glass".

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Cover the windows with pieces of strong cellophane, just like boiled sweets are normally

Cut out a generous piece for each side, and gently press into place

The cellophane should pull off without drama even with high humidity

Maybe a quick bake in the oven will dry them off a bit first?

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I generally avoid putting non-edible things in something that is considered completely edible when it concerns something that most likely involves children. I wouldn't want any child to accidentally choke on a piece of plastic. And trust me, these sort of accidents happens more often than you would believe. –  Jay Dec 14 '11 at 3:36
@Jay You serious Jay. Kids know all about lolly wrapper, they should be very experienced with them. Have you got kids? –  TFD Oct 2 '12 at 21:29
Kids know about it when it is obvious. But in the case of the window being covered with a layer of cellophane is less visible and obvious. I don't have my own children but I have work closely with many kids in the past. –  Jay Oct 3 '12 at 2:02
@Jay you would normally remove the cellophane before serving, it would look silly otherwise! –  TFD Oct 3 '12 at 2:35

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