Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! If all goes as planned, this stencil release should go public on Thanksgiving Day, just in time for Black Friday sales and the post-Thanksgiving Christmas shopping rush. With a host of charming gingerbread houses and a candy cane-striped landscape as their background, these sets are sure to make your Christmas extra sweet. And remember, if you pop them into your online shopping cart right away, you can take advantage of my partner Confection Couture Stencils' flash sale, which runs from 6 pm to 9 pm EST today, November 25. With code FLASH30, you'll get 30% off all Christmas cake, cookie, and barista stencils on their site!
But, back to the matter at hand - this release! Here's what it looks like in a nutshell:
And here's where you can find all of this delightful Christmas stuff on my partner Confection Couture Stencils' site:
- Gingerbread Village Dynamic Duos™ Background Set (upper left),
- Gingerbread Village Dynamic Duos™ Message and Frame Set (combined with the Duos™ background set; upper right),
- My partner Confection Couture Stencils' Iced Gingerbread House Background Cookie Stencil (lower right), and one of my best-selling Christmas releases from 2020 . . .
- From Our Home to Yours Dynamic Duos™ Set.
Once again, the background stencil in the background set (which is the half-and-half snowflake and candy cane-striped stencil shown to the far left in the image below) is sold separately and can be found under Candyland Snowflakes Background Cookie Stencil on my partner's site.
Let's quickly address my Stencil of the Month Club offering for November. Here's what this carefully curated bundle looks like:
Remember, if you join my club, each month you'll automatically get the current month's background set along with my partner's single companion stencil, all at a substantial (~20%) discount. A membership makes a great Christmas gift too (hint, hint! )
And, last but not least, my November cutter, designed specifically for this set is called the Fairbank Plaque and looks like so:
Though my love affair with gingerbread began at an early age while Christmas cookie-baking alongside my mom, it wasn’t until much later in life when I developed my signature Cutout Cookie Gingerbread recipe for my books, that the relationship truly blossomed. Named after Sorche Fairbank, the literary agent who took a chance on my first publications, this cutter is amply sized with subtly curved edges that frame my gingerbread houses in this release just perfectly! It's also one of those cutters that looks equally great in both vertical and horizontal orientations - and it comes in three sizes for extra versatility! I've used the largest (4 1/2 inches wide) for the cookies in this post. Now, about those cookies . . .
With three styles of gingerbread houses, a tree, and multiple messages and frames, this release will keep you busy the entire holiday season, mixing and matching to create new designs! The style reel below shares a small sampling of the designs I made this month, and the time-lapsed tutorial underneath it shows how I made one particular cookie where most of the foreground elements are fondant appliqués.
For more details about how some of the cookies in the style reel were made, please read on! I'll start first with some designs that use only the background set in this release.
Gingerbread Village Dynamic DuosTM Background Set (7 pieces)
What's especially fun about this set is the rich detail that can be added to the gingerbread houses by using the window-and-door overlays that sit next to each house on the foreground stencil. We'll come to some of those designs in a sec, but let's talk first about the background stencil (first image) in this set, which, again, is also sold separately as the Candyland Snowflakes Background Cookie Stencil. It's a rather universal two-part design that looks good all by itself or with a simple, striking embellishment, such as this modeling chocolate bow . . .
And here it is solo on the plate . . .
You could, of course, do this cookie in traditional Christmas red and green, but I chose a less conventional palette of lime green (actually, AmeriMist Electric Green), bubble gum pink (AmeriMist Electric Purple), soft blue (Spectrum Flow Sky Blue), and a chocolate-y brown (Chefmaster Harvest Brown), because I wanted to use the same scheme for my cookies with the gingerbread houses, and these colors evoked "sweets shop" or "candy shop" to me. I'll be decking more of these background stencil-only cookies with framed messages in the next section. But, for now, let's add a single house and some trees to see what that looks like. First up, a small cookie with a large Electric Purple (which looks pink) house . . .
In the above cookie (and the closer look below), the smoke was airbrushed directly on the cookie, whereas the house and trees were made as fondant appliqués and then layered to create a sense of perspective and depth.
A simple color change, and the cookie takes on an entirely new look . . .
Just backing out a bit so you can see all of the trees . . .
I airbrushed them in various combinations and intensities of Electric Green, Leaf Green, Avocado Green, and Harvest Brown to lend subtle color variations and interest from cookie to cookie.
As a more-is-more person, I just couldn't leave the one house on its own though! Here's a two-house cookie with all gingerbread-brown houses . . .
Note that it's substantially easier to airbrush these houses using the same color for the roof and house sides. It takes some clever masking and precision-control of your airbrush to use different colors and to prevent overspray of one into the other. So a cookie like this one is a good place to start . . .
And here it is on a different color and style of plate, which just goes to show how food styling and propping can have a considerable impact on your photos . . .
Speaking of which, these photos don't really do justice to the sparkly nature of these cookies. Trust me, they dazzle in almost any light (except for that captured by my camera - ugh!). The sky is be-glittered with both edible iridescent dust and itty-bitty silver Wilton stars that I secured one by one with the tiniest touches of piping gel. And I'm loving the edible Sparkling Snow Wafer Paper (at the bases of the trees and houses) that I recently got from Intricut Edibles. It's so festive!
Okay, ready for more houses?! I am. Just a few more variations before we start adding holiday messages from the companion set . . . first, a big pink house on a bigger cookie . . .
Aside: My airbrush was a little dirty when airbrushing the roof on the cookie above; you can tell by the slight "granularity" in the spray pattern. Cleaning my airbrush with vodka returned it to normal, as you'll see on the cookies that follow.
Wondering just how many houses one can fit on a single cookie? I was too . . . let's see!
And, now, a bit closer so you can confirm the return to a fine, even spray pattern - and appreciate the three different house styles on the foreground stencil . . .
Last but not least, a message-less cookie that uses my new Fairbank Plaque cutter!
I love its soft curves and ample decorating space.
As always, layering on framed messages (from the complementary message and frame set) opens up a world of expanded possibilities, especially as this set has five messages (more than the usual)! Let me show you what I mean!
Gingerbread Village Dynamic DuosTM Message and Frame Set (6 pieces)
Once again, I'll start with the simplest of message cookies - ones that lay a message on just the background stencil in the background set . . .
Here's a closer look . . .
Note that I chose to minimize the striped pattern on these cookies (to potentially leave more room for houses on top of the snowy sky), so my striped pattern is shifted far to one side. You could, of course, use more of it simply by shifting the stencil so the striped part covers more of the cookie.
Now let's bring in some houses and more messages! Here's "Joy to the World" as a fondant appliqué . . .
And here's the same message and frame directly airbrushed and stenciled on the cookie . . .
Oops, I forgot the wafer paper snow on that one, but it still looks cute! And, finally, a series of jazzier styles on cookies cut with the Fairbank Plaque . . .
The cookie below demonstrates just how nice this cutter looks in any orientation. In fact, by orienting it horizontally, I can fit more foreground elements. I've almost got a whole gingerbread village on this one!
And a closer look so you can appreciate the details of the darling house overlays . . .
Well, I hope I've whet your appetite for this sweet stencil set. I'll let you get back to your Thanksgiving turkey in just a moment, but not until I share a final image, a VERY IMPORTANT housekeeping note related to my December release, and my usual reminder of key links!
** Important Housekeeping Note **
Due to insanely busy work schedules over the last few months, both here and at Confection Couture Stencils, my partner and I have mutually decided to take a real Christmas vacation this year. Hurrah! (Ever since launching my stencil line five years ago, I've worked every holiday so I wouldn't miss a monthly release.) What this means is that I won't be releasing sets in December, and Stencil of the Month Club members won't be charged that month. All will quickly return to normal, however. In January, I'll resume my monthly releases with a wonderful Paris-themed Valentine's Day set. Stay tuned, and have a wonderful holiday season (though I'm sure you'll catch me on Cookie Connection in the meantime)!
- My Dynamic Duos™ stencil sets
- My Stencil of the Month Club
- My entire stencil line, including my Prettier Plaques™ sets
- More Christmas stencils, some designed by me and others by Confection Couture Stencils
- My new cookie cutters (more coming each month!)
- My videos that show how to create layered looks with my stencil sets
If you have any technical questions about these stencils, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. Please, however, direct all ordering and Stencil of the Month Club questions to my stencil partner, Confection Couture Stencils, at email@example.com. Thank you!