Make a Christmas gingerbread village

Why stop at a gingerbread house this Christmas? With a single dough recipe, you can make this charming Christmas gingerbread village, consisting of a two houses, a church, a schoolhouse and a clock tower.

Make a Christmas gingerbread village
Gingerbread village
Photo by Yvonne Duivenvoorden
Christmas gingerbread village
This easy-to-work dough and icing make a charming little Christmas gingerbread village of four buildings plus a clock tower, with some dough left over for steps, a bench or paving stones. Its basic pattern for a house is easily adapted to create a church, town hall, schoolhouse or shop. You can make the dough ahead, then cut and bake the pieces one day and assemble them the next.

For shrubs, secure a spiral of ribbon licorice to a gumdrop base. Make larger shrubs by wrapping the licorice around trimmed ice-cream cones. The large tree in the photo is made from fabric.

Click to view larger image of gingerbread village

You need:
Gingerbread Dough
Royal Icing
• Ribbon licorice, bubble-gum tape or Fruit Roll-Ups for shingles (optional)
• Assorted candies

Download pattern templates and print, ensuring they are the correct size, then cut out from parchment or waxed paper. Cut out remaining pattern pieces as follows:
• Side: 4-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches (11 x 9 cm)
• Roof: 5-1/2 x 4 inches (13 x 10 cm)
• Chimney side: 1-1/2-inch (4 cm) square
• Steeple side: 2-1/2 x 1/2 inches (6 x 1 cm)
• Steeple roof: 1-3/4 x 1-1/4 inches (4.5 x 3 cm)
• Schoolhouse belfry side: 3/4-inch (2 cm) square
• Schoolhouse belfry roof: 1-1/4-inch (3 cm) square
• Clock tower sides: 8 x 1-1/4 inches (20 x 3 cm)
• Clock tower roof: 1-1/4-inch (3 cm) square
• Draw and cut out pattern pieces for doors and windows as desired.

From foam core or heavy cardboard, cut four 8- x 6-inch (20 x 15 cm) rectangles as bases for buildings and one 4- x 3-inch (10 x 8 cm) rectangle as base for clock tower. (Or use sturdy disposable plates.)

Between 20-inch (50 cm) lengths of waxed or parchment paper, roll out each rectangle of dough to 14 x 12 inches (35 x 30 cm), about 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick. Slide paper and dough onto rimless baking sheet; chill in freezer until firm, 15 minutes. One at a time, slide back onto work surface; peel off top paper.

With tip of knife and using patterns, cut out dough as follows: 8 front/back pieces; 8 side pieces; 8 roof pieces. Slide dough and paper back onto baking sheet. Peel away scraps and set aside. Return to freezer; chill until firm, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, press scraps together; reroll to 1/4-inch (5 mm) thickness. Cut any remaining building pieces; chill as directed.

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