Kirsten here! Today we’re visiting one of my Christmas traditions passed down from my grandma. Be sure to share on instagram if you tried and tag us and #HOJHoliday so we can see what you’ve created! For more Christmas tutorials check out our DIY dried orange slice garland tutorial.
Christmas growing up always involved the smell of warm gingerbread thanks to my grandma Dawn’s gingerbread tradition. I still remember the excitement I’d have as a child when I walked into her home during the holidays to see what she had created. Some years there was an entire village of little gingerbread houses all lit up with lights and candy. To this day the smell of gingerbread and the tradition of making my own house each year fills me with nostalgia and memories. The tradition will be something I do every holiday and I hope my children carry it on for their own families!
After you make your dough it’s time to cut out your shapes! We roll out the dough and cut it directly onto our cookie sheet so you can avoid lifting the cutouts too many times. Be careful to not roll it out too thick or too thin. Too thin and you’ll risk your pieces snapping, too thick and they’ll be hard to put together when you start assembling your house. We’ve created some downloadable templates you can print for your gingerbread house pieces. Print on 8.5×11 paper, and we’ve included measurements! Click to download the template for the four walls + the tip (glue these cutouts together into one piece), and the four roof pieces and two side pieces.
*NOTE: These templates are not to scale. Increase your printer scale when printing to get to your desired dimensions. Ideal dimensions are listed on the template.
Once you take out your gingerbread piece you’ll need to immediately re-cut it out because it will have expanded in the oven. It will be hot so use an oven mitt!
Now it’s time to decorate! Using Grandma Dawn’s royal icing recipe put a scoop into your piping bag and get decorating. Use different tips for different lines. We like to use a smaller tip for most of it and then for bigger dots we’ll use a slightly bigger tip. The icing is always easier to use when it’s been sitting a room temperature otherwise it won’t stick to the gingerbread as well.
Being the true baker that she was Grandma Dawn always used hot sugar to put her pieces together. We like to do things a little bit easier and we just hot glue our pieces! The glue is so much easier to use and also easy to disguise with piping details after it’s been assembled.