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Making gingerbread houses is a tradition for many families, but constructing and decorating them can be a lot of work.
And most often the cookie houses aren't even eaten. This year, instead of making one big house that would sit on my table and be admired, I decided to make small gingerbread houses to give to my family. And these cookies will actually be eaten and enjoyed!
I got my inspiration from the tiny gingerbread houses made by Megan of NotMartha. Her houses are made from scratch, hand cut, and assembled with homemade royal icing. To simplify the process I used Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie mix and cut them using a 3-D gingerbread house cookie cutter, then decorated them with Betty Crocker Cookie Icing.
I baked, assembled, and decorated my tiny village of gingerbread houses in just over an hour. I plan on serving them perched on the edge of big mugs filled with hot cocoa for our Christmas gathering!
To get started, make the Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix according to package instructions.
Roll the dough out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cut out around the gingerbread house cookie cutter. Remove the excess dough. Since the cookies will spread as they bake, it's best to cut the actual houses out of the baked cookies, not the dough.
Bake cookies for 14-16 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately flip the cookies over.
Press the 3-D gingerbread house cutter into the cookies. By cutting the cookies from the backside, the cookies wont crack. I cut my first cookie from the front and smashed the edges of the cookie. When I flipped them over before cutting, the cuts were perfect!
Moving quickly, while the cookies are still hot, break off the house shaped pieces. Since one of the house pieces doesn't have a doorway, you need to cut one. Just press the cutter with the doorway over the cookie. Remove the doorway from each cookie.
Break apart the gingerbread house cookie pieces. Use kitchen shears or a knife to trim the jagged edges on your cookies. Allow cookies to cool for 10-15 minutes before assembling the houses.
Use Betty Crocker White Cookie Icing to attach the cookie pieces together. Allow the icing to dry completely.
Pipe white cookie icing in a thin layer over the roof of the houses. The icing will drip down the roof, so be sure you don't add too much (like I did on the house in the back). Add some snowflake sprinkles around the roof.
Pipe on windows and dots around the doors. Add a red heart sprinkle above the door.
Allow the icing to dry completely.
You can store your gingerbread houses in a zip top bag or airtight container for up to two weeks.
But they might not last that long!