Television's Gingerbread Town-Square Cake of 2007
This recipe for a delicious gingerbread town-square cake is from the December 2007 issue of Martha Stewart Living.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out each portion of dough on a floured piece of parchment paper to a scant 1/4-inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Using townhouse templates or 6-inch-tall house-shape cutters, cut out 6 cookies from each portion of dough. Cut out doors and windows with any remaining dough. If any more dough remains, discard or save for another use. Transfer houses, doors, and windows to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes.
Brush houses with a damp pastry brush. Decorate houses with doors and windows in contrasting color of dough. Freeze for 15 minutes.
Transfer cookies to oven and bake for 6 minutes. Remove baking sheets from oven, and tap them firmly on counter to flatten cookies. Return to oven, rotating sheets, and bake until crisp but not darkened, 6 to 8 minutes more. Transfer baking sheets to a wire rack; let cool.
Using a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain round tip (such as Ateco #0 or #1) outline houses, doors, and windows with royal icing. Decorate as desired, and let set overnight. Outline backs of cookies with icing, and let set.
Place 1 meringue layer on a cake stand and spread 1 1/2 cups buttercream over its surface. Top with a slice of genoise. Brush genoise with one-third of the syrup. Spread 1 1/2 cups buttercream over genoise. Repeat layering 2 more times. Spread enough buttercream over sides of cake to fill in any space between layers and create a smooth surface. Refrigerate cake for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight).
Just before serving, spread frosting over cake, smoothing sides and creating peaks on top to resemble snow drifts. Sprinkle top with sanding sugar. Gently press 3 cookies onto each side of cake, using 1 of each shape per side and alternating molasses and honey gingerbread. Serve immediately.