PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Lightly grease or line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
DOWNLOAD and print gingerbread house templates. Cut each pattern out. Each pattern is labeled as to the amount of each that you will for each size house (2 ends of the house, 2 sides of the house, and 2 roof pieces).
BREAK apart dough into large bowl. Add flour and mix until combined (clean hands may be needed).
SPRINKLE flour onto work surface or sheets of parchment paper or wax paper. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness, using additional flour as needed to prevent sticking (half or quarter amounts of dough can be rolled out). Place each pattern piece on the dough and cut out with a knife around each pattern. Transfer pieces to baking sheet with a large spatula placing about 1-inch apart. If dough pieces stretch during the transfer process, push them back into shape. If the rolled out dough is very soft, you may want to refrigerate it for 20 minutes before cutting it. Repeat with remaining half of dough.
BAKE for 12 to 13 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Smaller pieces will bake faster than large pieces. Cool on baking sheets for 4 minutes; remove pieces to wire rack to cool completely.
PREPARE Royal Icing.
DIVIDE icing into two plastic storage bags. Refrigerate one bag. Cut small corner from the remaining bag. If using a pastry bag, place half of icing into the bag already fitted with metal tip. Place dampened clean towel over the bowl with the remaining icing and refrigerate. Keeping a towel over the icing prevents it from drying out.
ASSEMBLE house(s) on base selected. For each house, pipe a thick line of icing along short ends of one of the side pieces. Press the side piece against the edge of a front and back piece. Hold in place for a few minutes until icing is partially set. Prop up with can if necessary. Repeat with the other side piece and front and back piece. Pipe additional icing to fill in any gaps and to add extra stability. To adhere houses to a base, pipe icing along the bottom edges of the houses where it meets the base. Let houses stand for an hour before adhering the roof pieces.
REMOVE cans. Pipe icing along one side of top edges of a house. Place roof piece on. Repeat on other side of house and with remaining roof pieces and houses. Smaller cans can be used on the sides of the houses to rest roof pieces onto while drying. Let houses stand for at least an hour or more before decorating.
ATTACH candies, morsels, wheat squares, sprinkles, sugar and candy canes to house with remaining icing. Pipe icing on the sides of the houses to make decorative designs, windows or doors. Sprinkle wet icing with sugars to create extra “sparkle”.
TO SET THE VILLAGE IN A SNOWY SETTING, set houses in mounds of granulated sugar or spoon sugar around base of houses. Houses can also be placed on top of gathered white fabric.
FOR ROYAL ICING:
COMBINE 8 cups (2 lb. bag) sifted powder sugar, 3/4 cup warm water and 6 tablespoons meringue powder (available in baking aisle or at cook’s stores) in large mixer bowl; beat for 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Icing can be made ahead of time, covered with damp towel and refrigerated. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.