Invite your whole family to decorate these ornaments for your Christmas tree and you'll find that suddenly everyone wants to be an architect. The windows and doors have been crafted from dough that is different from the facade's -- the lighter one is sweetened with honey, the darker with molasses -- to provide contrast.
Make cookie doughs through step 3. Use town house templates at 133 percent, print onto clear, thin, flexible plastic sheets, and cut out) or 6-inch-tall house-shape cutters to cut out 12 cookies (2 of each shape from each kind of dough). For ornaments, use a small, plain pastry tip (such as Ateco #10) or a skewer to make a hole in the top of each house. Cut out doors and windows. Transfer houses, doors, and windows to parchment-lined baking sheets, and freeze for 15 minutes. Brush houses with a damp pastry brush, then decorate with doors and windows in contrasting color of dough. Freeze for 15 minutes. Bake cookies as directed, and let cool completely before decorating. Use a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain round tip (such as Ateco #0 or #1) to outline house, doors, and windows with royal icing. Decorate as desired, and let set overnight. Outline backs of cookies with icing, and let set. If you are making ornaments, tie ribbons through holes for hanging.
Gingerbread Men How-To
Make cookie doughs through step 3. Use a 2-inch gingerbread man cutter to cut out shapes from both doughs. Bake cookies as directed, and let cool completely before decorating. Pipe 3 buttons onto each gingerbread man with icing.
For the cheesecake recipe, see Gingerbread Cheesecake.
Gingerbread Deer and Trees How-To
Make cookie doughs through step 3. Use deer templates (print at 110 percent, trace onto clear, thin, flexible plastic sheets, and cut out) or a deershape cutter to cut out 3 deer. Use tree templates or tree-shape cutters, to cut out 5 trees. Using a small plain pastry tip (such as Ateco #10) or a skewer, cut a hole in each deer and tree, using marking on templates as a guide. Bake cookies as directed, and let cool completely before decorating. To learn how to create the mobile below, see Gingerbread Bedroom Mobile.
For more recipes and crafts made with gingerbread, see Gingerbread Houses and No-Bake Cookie Cottages.