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Ready for a cookie challenge? These gingerbread planes are based on the characters from Disney’s Planes and they’re a fun take on traditional cookie sculptures. (I see your house and raise you an aerodynamic flying machine!)
To be honest, they’re probably easier than they look. I created a simple stencil to make the body and wings for the gingerbread planes (grab the free printable template here) and carefully cut out the shapes using a small paring knife. Our dough was the no-chill gingerbread dough we made last year, but I did pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes this time so the dough would be easier to cut. I love doing freehand shapes in cookie dough, but if your knife gets stuck you won’t get that nice crisp shape.
As it is, my planes ended up being different sizes because the oven in our rental is ridiculously unbalanced and cooks one side of my cookie sheets faster than the other. Usually I find this annoying, but I was actually happy to have a fleet of different sized planes. One was way too big and fluffy, so I cut it down to the stencil size while the cookies were still warm from the oven (an option if you end up with a plane that just isn’t working out!).
To glue the wings to the planes, I used our recipe for gingerbread house icing, which is (1) 3 Tbsp meringue powder, (2) 1 lb bag of powdered sugar, and (3) about 5 tablespoons of cold water. Add the water last and stir between tablespoons to get the consistency just right (stop adding water as soon as you a nice smooth icing that reminds you of school glue). Pipe the icing onto the edges of the wings and hold against the side of the plane for thirty seconds or so until the wing starts to take hold. You can see above that I actually glued my wings on and then let them dry overnight with the help of some blocks we had in the playroom. This system also works for holding the planes while you’re letting the decorations dry!
I piped the decorations on using a bag of store-bought cookie icing and one of the kids’ Disney Planes coloring books as a guide. (You can search for coloring pages online if no books are handy!) I thought it would be tricky, but the big eyes and little smiles made the cookies instantly recognizable to the kids.
If you want to make decorating a little easier for small hands, consider only gluing a wing to one side so the body can lay flat for decorating. You can also use heavier decorations here, like candies, because you’ll be able to lay them down while they dry.
Also, just so you know, these cookies are pretty fragile even with the special gingerbread house icing. They were certainly no match for my little monster, who gleefully ripped off the wings to explore the dynamics of plane construction.
If your kids love the characters from the Disney Planes series as much as my kids do, you’ll be happy to know that there are Disney Planes toys on Rollback at Walmart right now, just in time for the holidays! You can find Disney Planes Flight to the Finish Speedway Rollback to $24.97, Disney Planes Fire & Rescue Die-Cast Vehicles 3-Pack Rollback to $14.97, and the Disney Planes Fire & Rescue Deluxe Talking Vehicle Assortment Rollback to $19.97. I hit the toy aisle and ended up grabbing the die-cast vehicle sets – perfect stocking stuffers.