Welcome to the Christmas cookie village on Meadow Lane.
Before you read my blog post, would you like to take the walking tour?? Just click to watch the video.
Each building in the cookie village is a Christmas cookie gift for my family.
The village has a bookstore, church, post office, general store, toy store, candy store, and of course a Flour Box Bakery!
I started planning this project a few months ago. I looked at tons of Christmas villages online, and spent a considerable amount of time checking out the village on display at the local craft store.
The Yoder Toys & Games store is for my sister's family. I have an amazing niece and nephew that love to play with toys. So what is more perfect than a toy store? I think this roof is my favorite in the entire village. After sketching this store, I decided to add the nutcracker. He gives the shop a playful look.
The church is for Topher's dad, who recently married Jennie. We all adore her. And by recent, the ceremony was on 11.11.11 at 11:11am.
This church cookie is actually the tallest in the town. It's just over 10 inches tall. I attempted to create a stucco texture on the front of the church using white nonpareils. The rock pathway is edible...chocolate rocks. Yum! The bell in the town is painted gold using luster dust.
The silver Christmas tree in the background is the only non-edible piece in the village. It fits perfectly in my opinion, adds a little height and a little sparkle.
I worked hard to vary each roof line in the village. I used 8 various cutters to make each building unique. I really liked the roof on Nana's Book Nook with Plaz Comics. This cookie is for my mom, a super duper bookworm. I get my love of reading from her. Plaz is actually my brother, Andrew. He is a comic book collector in real life and has a mini-store set-up in The Plaza in downtown Bellefonte. So in cookie life...I added comics to the Nook. If Andrew and my mom really did have a store, it would no doubt be the coolest and coziest place on earth to chill. Lots of books, comics, coffee, and tea (and cookies of course)!
The sign on the store is inspired by a sign I once saw in San Gimignano, Italy. What a marvelous medieval town to explore. I think I ate the best gelato of our trip in San Gimignano, and the tobacco sign I saw certainly left an impression. Unfortunately, this cookie sign was my one cookie casualty. I precariously picked up this building and the sign popped right off in my hand. No tears were shed, but I had to be Dr. Cookie and glue it back together with a little royal icing.
The post office is for my dad and step-mother. Both of their dads collected stamps. My grandfather was also the postmaster in his town. I like the simple design of this building. I added some brick detail using two different shades of brick red icing. I didn't want to over-decorate the cookie, so I added the a few bricks here and there. The post office also comes with two cookie accessories, the mailbox and the American flag. Do you see the flag? It's peeking out from behind the building.
The general store is for Topher's Mom and Dad. And believe me, this cookie is just perfect for them. They are the general store in our lives. They are full of great advice, know how to do all sorts of projects, and are just in general really awesome people. We can go to them for just about anything and they know what to do.
The front porch design was a challenge for me, so I was relieved and happy when it was all decorated. I originally wanted the two little signs hanging from the porch to say 'live bait' and 'fresh eggs'...but I couldn't get 'fresh eggs' to fit...so the word 'tools' subbed in. I think the open sign, ice cooler, and barrel add a little extra character.
Sanfilippo Sweet Shoppe is for my sister-in-law's family. They have two great little girls that Grace loves to play with. She calls them her best friends. I couldn't decide if I should give them the candy shop or the toy store, and because their last name begins with S, they got assigned the sweet shoppe.
I baked the building first and then added the candy canes after everything was decorated. I think the front window is cute...bon bons and bubble gum balls. Don't forget to stop in for a free sample!
My FAVORITE cookie to decorate in the cookie village was the Flour Box Bakery! I currently operate my business out of my home kitchen (being a home-based food producer is permitted in Pennsylvania as long as you get registered and follow the guidelines from the PA Dept of Food Safety). When I finally get my very own shop...I want it to look EXACTLY like this...pink bricks and all. My shop will absolutely have flower boxes too...maybe I'll plant them with cookie flowers?
I made the sign (and several of the others) separately on a piece of wax paper and transferred it to the building once it was dry. This allowed me to create a more interesting roof line. I used my actual logo to make the sign just right.
I cut out the center front window by hand to create a little peek-through scene. Inside you can see rows of cupcakes and stacks of cookie boxes ready for the holiday rush.
I used a mini flower cookie cutter and merged them with a small rectangle to create the window boxes. I liked the depth this added to the facade of the bakery cookie.
After viewing so many photos online of Christmas villages, I learned that no village is complete without the accessories.
I added carolers. I don't have a cookie cutter for carolers, and I really don't like hand-cutting cookies, so I squished and bent a Christmas tree cutter and turned it into my carolers. Fa la la la la!
I made lots of tree accessories for my cookie scene. But accidentally spilled a glass of milk on more than half of them...these were the survivors.
I also included two classic cars (yellow and aqua - not in this photo) and a red pick up truck with a tree in it's bed. There are a few snowmen hanging out in town, too. I included a couple of lamp posts decorated with greens. The street signs read Meadow Lane.
But this cookie village was different. Not only did it require more planning and a longer execution timeline, but it was really from the heart. I wanted to make each cookie unique and special for my family.
I can honestly say this was one of the most challenging, yet enjoyable cookie projects I have worked on to date. I spent countless hours sketching and planning. I used so many different cutters to create the various building shapes. And after more than 25 icing colors, I stopped counting.
I really hope my family enjoys their special cookies. If they do, I have a dozen more village ideas for another scene next Christmas. I'm already planning it out!! If you made your family a village, what cookies would you have to include? It's fun to think about it, right?
One more thing before I go - Topher is amazing. He took the photos and the video and I think he did great. I just love him to pieces.