This epic gingerbread house makes a gorgeous, sugary tablescape for the holidays.
batches gingerbread cookie dough
Assorted house cookie cutters
Rectangle and square tin cookie cutter sets
each 10"-, 8"- and 6"-round x 3"-high foam cake rounds
white sanding sugar
Fairy lights (optional)
white sanding sugar
Red fondant (about 2 1/2 oz.)
Light pink fondant (about 1/2 oz.)
Green fondant (less than 1/8 oz.)
White fondant (about 1/8 oz.)
Light pink fondant (less than 1/8 oz.)
Red fondant (about 1 oz.)
Clear liquor (we used vodka)
mini candy canes
- Make Village: Prepare 4 batches of gingerbread cookies, using
cutters to make shapes shown on cover.
- Make the royal icing. Transfer 2⁄3 of
the icing to a piping bag fitted with a fine
tip and decorate the houses as desired.
Use a few drops of water to loosen the
remaining royal icing; transfer to a piping
bag fitted with a size 2 tip. Use to flood
roofs (while wet, sprinkle with nonpareils,
if using). Let set.
- Meanwhile, prepare the base: Brush
the outsides of each foam cake round
with corn syrup and immediately sprinkle
with sanding sugar; let dry. Stack the
cake rounds on top of each other, using
skewers to keep them together. Transfer to a serving platter. If using, run fairy
lights around each layer.
- To Assemble: Arrange the cookies
up against the foam rounds, using
toothpicks to prop them up. (Note:
This process is very fragile—bumping
the table could knock over the village.)
Sprinkle the serving platter with sanding
sugar and decorate as desired.
- Make Sledding Gnome: For the body, make
a ball of red fondant, then
elongate at one end. For the head, roll
light pink fondant into a ball,
then slightly flatten. Attach to the body
using a toothpick (the toothpick should
stick out of both sides of the head). For
the ears, roll light pink fondant into
a small log and cut in half; press lightly to flatten. Pinch each half at one side and
adhere to the head using a little water.
For the nose, roll light pink fondant into a
round or oval and adhere to the face. For
the hat, roll red fondant into a ball, then elongate at one end. Place hat
on the sticking-out toothpick on head,
using a little water to stick. For the scarf,
roll green fondant into a
long log; flatten and cut out. Wrap around
neck using water as glue.
- Make Window Gnomes: Make only the heads
(above). For the beard, roll white fondant into a ball, then elongate
at one end. Glue to the face using a little water. For the hands, roll light pink fondant into 2 balls and flatten slightly. Cut 3 even slits to make
4 fingers and carefully shape into fingers.
Carefully press gnomes into windows.
- Make Presents: Cut red fondant into squares. To add shine, brush with
a little luster dust mixed with a drop of
clear liquor. Pipe on
bows with royal icing.
- Make Sleigh: Use royal icing to attach candy canes to the side of a cookie and let dry.