Grandma Dawn loved sharing her recipes with others, and we know she would be excited to see so many of you carrying on her gingerbread tradition. Gather your kids, friends & neighbors and let the magic of gingerbread enrich your holiday and home!
Growing up, Christmas always involved the smell of warm gingerbread thanks to my grandma Dawn’s gingerbread tradition and my own mother keeping the tradition alive. I still remember the excitement I’d have as a child when I walked into my grandma’s 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, making my own house each year with my mom and sisters and the smell of gingerbread fills me with nostalgia and fond memories. The tradition will be something I do every holiday and I hope my children carry it on for their own families!
Over the years, we’ve used a few different templates to create our gingerbread houses. My mom designed ‘The Susie’ and it’s always been a huge hit due to its unique proportions and roof structure. We created a classic cottage style design to complement her template, and I love combining both designs to make a cute gingerbread village!
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.
Once you take out your gingerbread piece you’ll need to immediately re-cut it because it will have expanded in the oven. You can also carve window and door cut-outs at this stage. 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 the line work, and for bigger dots we’ll use a slightly bigger tip. Make sure the icing is room temp, 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 often 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.
We’ve compiled the two gingerbread templates designed by my mom and I, along with Grandma Dawn’s recipes, into a lovely printable! Download the templates here. Make sure your printer settings are set at 99-100% to get the most accurate template. Be sure to tag us on Instagram and hashtag #HOJHoliday so we can see what you’ve created!