I have been making a Gingerbread Village for over 50 years. I've combined a few different recipes for my gingerbread. I believe my original recipe came from Good Housekeeping magazine in the early 1970s. The majority of the gingerbread is used for the village, but I always make sure there are extra pieces for eating.
I use the same template to construct each part of the village. I put lights inside, and strips of bass wood are used to give the village strength. Ginger people, elves, and of course a troll inhabit my Christmas village. Royal frosting covers the roofs and ground. Green icing Christmas trees are outside the village, with a decorated tree inside.
There is a different story for each year. My grandson has taped the last few years of the village and puts them on YouTube. Last year, the Village of Flossmoor took names of those who wanted to tour the village and then supplied guides to bring people through my house out to the sunroom where the village is located. At the end of gingerbread season, I take a hammer to break the village apart, usually in the first week of January.
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp powdered ginger
2 tbsp baking soda
7-8 cups all purpose flour
1. Whip cream. Mix in sugar, molasses, ginger, and baking soda. Add flour a little at a time. After mixing well, cover bowl of dough and let it sit overnight.
2. Roll the dough out on the back of a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with a non-stick mixture. I roll the dough out thin, wrap it around the rolling pin, and lay it on the back of the cookie sheet. I brush the gingerbread with a little water before putting it in the oven at 315. Bake time depends on your oven, usually 7-9 minutes.
3. The pieces must lay on a flat surface for 2 or 3 days before you can begin construction of the village. Make a simple house with 2 sides, 1 back, and 1 front with a door cut out. Use 2 pieces for a peaked roof.