No holiday is complete without the sweet and crunchy taste of gingerbread. It's safe to say that there are very few people out there who don't love making, eating and especially decorating gingerbread houses. That's why this week as part of The 12 Weeks of Christmas we're giving you a free printable gingerbread house template and a delicious tried, tested and true Gingerbread Recipe with none other then the Ultimate Royal Icing Recipe. Here is your free printable gingerbread house template: >>Download the free printable gingerbread house template A tradition from most of our childhoods, this activity is great for the young ones and all of us still young at heart. Plan a day with the kids on the weekend and have fun baking and decorating…very important tip, make sure to buy extra candy to nibble on throughout the decorating process. Keep in mind the time it takes to bake and prepare the gingerbread pieces, this might be something you want to prepare prior and have the kids help decorate (the fun part). You can keep the baked pieces in the fridge until you're ready to decorate. Now for the FUN! Whip up your Royal Icing (recipe provided below) and start assembling your house. The Royal icing works as a glue. While adhering the base of the house, let the pieces stand for a few minutes while icing hardens. A good tip: While you're letting the icing dry, prop up the pieces with some glasses. This will prevent them from shifting and you won't be stuck holding them yourself. When the house is assembled gather all of your candy and have fun decorating! We had so much fun making our gingerbread house, we hope you will too. If it's not already, it is soon to be a new favorite holiday tradition. Be sure to check back again next week for another installment filled with great freebies, deals, decor and so much more with our 12 Weeks of Christmas. And if you can't wait, visit us on Friday for an AWESOME DEAL! GINGERBREAD RECIPE (with royal icing) Cook Time: 10-12 minutes depending on the gingerbread thickness Cooking Temperature: 350°F (180°C) Gingerbread Ingredients: \t2 3/4 cups All purpose flour \t2 tsp baking soda \t2 tsp cinnamon \t1 1/2 tsp ground ginger \t1 1/2 tsp cloves \t1/2 tsp salt \t1 cup butter \t1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed \t1/4 cup molasses \t1 egg Royal Icing Ingredients: \t4 cups (1 L) icing sugar \t1/2 tsp (2 mL) cream of tartar \t3 egg whites Directions for Gingerbread: \tCombine first 6 ingredients. Stir well to blend. \tCream butter, brown sugar, molasses and egg together thoroughly until light and fluffy. \tAdd dry ingredients gradually to creamed mixture, mixing well. \tChill dough for easy rolling. \tRoll dough 1/4" (6mm) thick on a floured board. Cut out the shapes of your templates. Place on lightly greased or parchment paper lined baking sheet. \tBake at 350F (180C) for 10-12 minutes, or until set. (Time will depend on the size of the gingerbread shapes) \tCool and decorate as desired Important Tips: \tAfter you've chilled the dough in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, place the dough on a well-floured work surface. Be sure to use a lot of flour and to cover the entire area. The dough tends to be sticky, but releases well with lots of flour. Apply generous flour to the rolling pin and reapply as you roll out the dough. \tUse parchment paper on the baking sheets for even baking. Directions for Royal Icing: \tIn bowl, sift together icing sugar and cream of tartar. \tUsing electric mixer beat in egg whites for 7 to 10 minutes or until icing is thick enough to hold its shape.