At Southern Living, we go big at Christmastime. Enter this 2- x 4-foot gingerbread reproduction of our 2013 Idea House. To create it, we turned to Rebecca Clerget, pastry chef at The Fairmont Washington D.C., Georgetown, where she constructs elaborate holiday gingerbread displays and also hosts classes on building cookie abodes ($85 adults, $50 kids; fairmont.com/washington).
Her advice? A good house starts with a template (use cardboard pieces the shape of each wall to trace dough before baking), but then it's all about the whimsical details. Check out the full gingerbread house and use the recipes below to help you create your own ultimate gingerbread house!