For the best you've ever tasted, think outside the box. This do-it-yourself mix can be customized with whatever nuts, seeds, and dried fruit sound good to you. (We've included some of our favorite combinations.)
The cookie cutters for these cookies are available at downtowndough.com (from $5.50 each). To make the Woodlands Gingerbread House, use one batch of this dough to make the walls, and one batch of the Boiled Gingerbread dough to make the roof and chimneys. Get the gingerbread house template here.
Canned pumpkin puree allows you to use less fat in this recipe, yielding moist, tender little cakes that are better for you. These cakes were baked in cannele molds, available at baking stores. They're just as sweet made in muffin pans. You can also use a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan; bake 70 minutes.
Leveling the tops of the cakes helps them to stack neatly and makes a smooth surface for frosting. For easier trimming, refrigerate the cooled cake layers for about an hour before slicing off the tops with a long serrated knife.