Screw Gingerbread. Behold the Pizza House.

Carrie Dennis/Thrillist

Every holiday season since I can remember, my mom has made a gingerbread house from scratch. The recipe and the pattern sit undisturbed throughout the year, only to emerge sometime after Thanksgiving so that she can start the three-day process of building the thing. It's a lovely tradition. But I am not my mother. 

Did you see this fucking pizza house? Here's how you make it. 

You will need:

1. Parchment
2. Scissors
3. Math skills
4. Toothpicks
5. A blow torch
6. Four thin-crust frozen pizzas (I used Newman's because I am intimately familiar with this brand's structural integrity. Nights can be lonely in Ditmas, OK?)
7. One box of Ellio's (two to be safe)
8. String cheese
9. Assorted pizza topping decorations
10. A large, UN-CUT delivery cheese pizza
11. Nothing better to do

Carrie Dennis/Thrillist

1. Make a pattern

You can't expect to build an architecturally sound pizza house without preparation. The height of the front of the house must be exactly the same height as the Ellio's sides, and the length of the roof pieces must be longer than the Ellio's sides. Measure everything out, make a pattern with parchment, then transfer that to the circular cardboard pieces that come underneath the Newman's. This step is crucial!!

2. Cook the shit out of everything

Because undercooked pizzas are mad floppy, leave them in the oven for awhile so they crisp up and stand on their own. This won't affect the taste too much, but it's important to note that no length of cooking will stop Ellio's from tasting like paste.

Alex Robinson/Thrillist

3. Cut the pizza into the correct shapes

Use scissors to cut out the pattern. This is way easier after cooking.

4. Build an internal support structure

Follow your heart here. We used the existing pattern to finagle cardboard scaffolding.

Alex Robinson/Thrillist

5. Make an olive path

Because you don't want those dang neighbor kids trampling your cheese yard!

Alex Robinson/Thrillist

6. Solder the sides together with a string of cheese and a blow torch

Mostly because this is good fun.

7. Realize cheese is not a good glue, use a stupid amount of toothpicks instead

This thing is 40% toothpicks.

Alex Robinson/Thrillist

8. Drink a beer


9. Use the empty can to hold up the side of the house

As cans do.

Alex Robinson/Thrillist

10. Affix the pepperoni-shingled roof

Use 100 more toothpicks.

Alex Robinson/Thrillist

11. Add toppings

Olives, green pepper, red onion, oregano, etc., etc. This is your home now.

Carrie Dennis/Thrillist

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Carrie Dennis is a former National Food and Drink Editor at Thrillist and would like to thank Tyler Beckwith, Keller Powell, Alex Robinson, Wil Fulton, Joe McGauley, Cole Saladino, and Jeremy Glass for being them. And also for helping to build this pizza house, except Jeremy, who did nothing. Follow her on Twitter @CarrrieDennnis.