Gingerbread houses go pro in holiday displays
Out of the kitchen and into the hotel lobby: Gingerbread houses have gone from being a homemade project done with mom to professional exhibits designed by pastry chefs and sometimes even architects.
And never mind the humble miniature: Some displays are life-size, while others depict entire villages. A few extravaganzas raise money for charity, while some include contests for home bakers. Many are part of larger Christmas celebrations at luxury hotels that also showcase decorated trees, Santa visits and holiday menus.
Susan Matheson, co-author of the book “The Gingerbread Architect: Recipes and Blueprints for Twelve Classic American Homes,” says these types of professional gingerbread creations “are elaborately detailed, spellbinding constructions that must require an army of pastry chefs, historians, engineers and consulting experts. The results can elevate the craft to a high art form that transports the viewer into an ethereal miniature fairy world.” But Matheson doesn’t approve of glue guns or other non-edible components: “It’s 100 percent digestible or count me out.”
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