Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
maggie

Gingerbread Houses - Pictures

Recommended Posts

Our gingerbread village is being installed today! After 4 months of planning, I am VERY excited! And ready to get it over with, and move on with the holidays. I will take photos today when it's all done, post them if I can figure out how, and will anxiously await others, doing the same. Tell us your stories of gingerbread happiness and heartache. We all have them, like the time the ring tailed cat came down from the mountain, pushed open the floor-to-ceiling glass doors and ate my very first one. Or just last year, when all of ours collapsed in the weird southeastern humidity I wasn't prepared for. Or my beautiful, faithful reproduction of Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesen West that no one in Detroit recognised.

This year's theme is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was (I think) Leslie's idea, and we watched her sister's copy of the Jim Carrey movie to get inspiration. Now, as I look around my office at the houses ready to go, I am reminded of what an incredibly talented team of women I work with everyday. The houses have curves and weird shapes, painted with pastel hues of royal icing and slathered with Nerds and silver dragees. Leslie's made the mountain behind Whoville, as well as the most incredible Grinch, and Max, ever recreated in marzipan. If she ever tires of being in pastry, she has a career in claymation waiting for her! For as much as she's complained the last half of this year about the gingerbread, she's done an incredible job. Robyn's made a three-sided apartment building, Who Heights. Krissy made a circular house, that started out with, "What if I draped gingerbread over a bowl?" Erica tried to follow suit, but ended up with a completely different and beautiful house.

Well, I'm excited! I'm on my way to work and will post the photos this afternoon. Your turn! Share your stories and photos! Happy Holidays!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That project sounds amazing, Maggie! I am doing a gingerbread house this year, but only a very humble amateur one. My oldest friend, Caroline, and I have made gingerbread houses almost every year since we were about 5. We were going to do our first solo venture this year (sans Caroline's mom), but decided we weren't quite ready. She's trekking in from Connecticut to help us! Pics to come next weekend...


Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wowzers I can't wait. Four months of planning?? Wow. I stayed up all night & finished one like 15 years ago for a gingerbreadhouse contest in GoodHousekeeping.

If I can get someone to scan my picture I'll put mine up. It's Magnolia Manor, a run-down orphanage that elves are fixing up for the holidays. A fairy enchants a magnolia tree & the elves spring up out of the flowers & start making Christmas for the orphans. Believe me Leslie's future in claymation is secure--I'm no competition. :rolleyes: However my house is cute albeit a few homely elves. :biggrin:

Can't wait to see your work!!

Well and the colorful story is that in the midst of a 'spirited discussion' between my husband and I Magnolia Manor grew wings and flew across the room :laugh: I promise the only other thing I ever threw at him was the cordless phone--and it bounced off the hood of the car as he backed out the driveway :rolleyes::laugh::laugh: Geez shades of true confession time.

And would you believe, we'll celebrate our 27th anniverary December 25th! There's nobody else I'd rather throw things at :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I've been trying to post the photos for the past hour, but the photos come up blank when I preview the post. Sorry! I will try again tomorrow, but let me just say that the village is up, beautiful and well-photographed (take my word for it, for now). It's been a lot of fun, but Leslie and I both noticed how exhausted we were once it was finished. We had no idea how much it was stressing us out until it was done. k8memphis, do try to post your photos! I'll also download last year's village, the theme of which was: Let's all make our first gingerbread houses! And get it done, no matter how much we hate it!

I've been reading tech support, and it seems as though lots of people are having this problem downloading pictures. I started a photo album, but made it private, and now can't make it public. Please bear with me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whew! It was painful, but I finally did it! It looks from the thumbnails that we're missing a picture of Krissy's round house, but I'll try to take care of that sometime today.

gallery_24961_2122_56191.jpggallery_24961_2122_57103.jpggallery_24961_2122_16319.jpggallery_24961_2122_111397.jpggallery_24961_2122_56361.jpggallery_24961_2122_93408.jpggallery_24961_2122_65910.jpggallery_24961_2122_36419.jpggallery_24961_2122_72262.jpggallery_24961_2122_585.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now I'm inspired! last year, my Grandma-in-law gave my husband and I an old template that she used to use make a simple gingerbread house. I've always wanted to make one, so we thought we might try to do one this year and transport it to grandma's house.

How do you make it sturdy enough to travel? Is the gingerbread edible, or rock hard and tasteless? What recipe do you use for icing and the gingerbread? Do you "paste" the pieces of gingerbread onto cardboard for sturdiness?

Please help an amateur get started on her first gingerbread house!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Megan! And thanks to k8memphis for the great website. I've never transported a gingerbread house farther than from the kitchen to the display site, and those are always tense moments. Take extra royal icing with you when you go, just in case you need to make repairs. I never consider gingerbread houses edible, because they sit out to dry, sit out on display, need to be hard for construction, plus they're covered, or at least glued with yucky royal icing (powdered sugar, egg whites and cream of tartar or some kind of acid for gloss). I hate eating raw eggs, creeps me out. But, fair warning, dogs love them! My golden retriever thinks they're better than Milk Bones.

Does anyone else have photos?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job Maggie and helpers! I might have to steal the way you applied the clouds/fog/atmosphere one day......I love how you wrapped it around the mound the grinch is sitting on....really enforces the idea of his height.

I only have some old photos, nothing digital. I'll post my photos next Monday when I have a day off.

Surely more members have some photos to share.......come on guys it's christmas time......share-em.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Surely more members have some photos to share.......come on guys it's christmas time......share-em.

This is the only photo that I could find of a gingerbread house I made in 2003. Sorry, my camera skills were awful.

gallery_36660_2126_33274.jpg

I just love Whoville!

April


One cantaloupe is ripe and lush/Another's green, another's mush/I'd buy a lot more cantaloupe/ If I possessed a fluoroscope. Ogden Nash

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my four yr old has been asking me daily when we are going to make the gingerbread house? this will be our first and i am determined to do it without a kit. i have been tepted several times but the long list of scary ingedients keeps me away. so i am inspired enough now to take on the project. so how long are they good for keeping out on the table? do they start to smell or fall apart after like two weeks? i will post our picture when we finish. it will be a good image gullet lesson.


"i saw a wino eating grapes and i was like, dude, you have to wait"- mitch hedburg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll try and find some (really) old photos over the weekend, and I promise fresh ones on the 10th, when I head out to Queens to relive my childhood, as mentioned above!


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have many gingerbread houses over the years and what is tradition in our family is to glue them with burnt sugar and not to use too much royal icing, then the house is edible. I tend to put trees and a lot of reindeer and small people in the yard, so that those who are tempted to snack, can do so. My house recipe bakes a very crisp cookie that doesn't go stale too fast ... as long as you don't live in the humid zone! When I lived in colder drier climates, houses could last easily from late Nov. through Xmas ... one of the reasons I don't always make them here is that they tend to cave in if the humidity is too high.

I wish I had photos ... actually I have a very cute photo of a house someone made me for our wedding, (which was in Xmas season) but it is pre-digital era! Ha, I age myself!

Have fun ... I'm thinking of pulling a house or two together this year - people LOVE it when you bring them a house!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone who owns the Foods of the World series has seen my gingerbread houses, because there's a color picture on the cover of one. I did my own thing on the decorations, though. It was fun, but both times I made them the humidity got them so they didn't last from season to season like I had expected or hoped.

I just saw this year's GH competition from Asheville NC on the Food Channel. Some fairly amazing ones. Although the winning house was not overwhelmingly impressive, I think it won because it was so perfectly crafted.


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is my gingerbread house from two years ago. Haven't done one since but perhaps next year. Lots of different mediums used: marzipan (sled, snowman), chocolate (window shutters), sugar (windows), pastillage (candycane and fence posts), and swiss meringue with gelatin (for snow), and royal icing for trees.

front...

gallery_17088_467_12606.jpg

and back...

gallery_17088_467_78963.jpg


Support your local farmer

Currently reading:

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

Just finished reading:

The 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith & J. B. MacKinnon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yea! more pictures! Cute houses! I just love gingerbread! No, they don't start to smell after a few weeks, but yes, sometimes they do fall apart. Last year, we lit the inside of all our houses, and the heat from the lights melted the windows and eventually, the icing that was holding the houses together. Don't do that! And the humidity here in east Tennessee plays havoc with them, as well. We'll see if our display makes it past Christmas, because it's right by 3 huge windows, an outside door and a large fireplace. Fingers crossed!

Anyone out there from a really large hotel that makes a village?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think gingerbread is one of my biggest passions :o). I've done many houses over the years, just couldn't make it work time-wise this year. I did a few craft shows a couple of years ago, with all handcrafted items, but it became too much to manage so I decided to stick to making them for my own pleasure. Some of my creatins are on my web site: www.cookiecorner.dutchweb.nl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't make a traditional gingerbread house to save my life. They always come out looking like where the Crooked Old Man with the Crooked Cat lives. So, I kinda do my own thing and call it a gingerbread house.

This is the one I just did this past week. Not much to look at, but, I had fun doing it. Promise you won't laugh!

Boot_1.jpg

Boot_03.jpg

The only other 2 gingerbread anything I have ever done........

Harry_Potter_and_The_Sorceror_s_Stone_Gingerbread_Scene.jpg

toadstool1.jpg

Ok, I shared. :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy cow Artistic Sugarworks you say can't do the basics, but you CAN do advanced work!

I'd love to know how you baked off all the curved pieces on your shoe???????? Better yet.........I'd LOVE to see a demo on how you did that step by step..........it's auesome!

And how about the structure on your hat...........please share your technique..........they look so naturally shaped...............

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Wendy! The shoe was baked as one piece except for the roof supports. They were baked seperately and "glued" on with royal. The shoe was easy. If I get ambitious enough to make another one, I'll make sure to take pics of the construction, but, until then here's how I did it in the text version.

You only need 6 elements:

A coffee can

Poster board

a 6" cake board

Masking Tape

Foil

a Gingerbread recipe that doesn't slide off while baking

I used a modified version of one from Nick Malgieri. I'll post it in a minute.

Construct the support for it:

Ball up some foil and mound it onto the top of the coffee can until it looks good. Cover with a single piece of foil and masking tape it around the can. Take another piece of foil and cover the sides of the can and tape in place. Lay the can on it's side. Cover the cake board in foil and tape about a 1/8" of it onto the top lip of the can. Take a 12"x12" piece of poster board and mark it at the 6" point with a line that goes the whole way across. Take the poster board (line side out) and curve it around the cake board and over onto the sides of the can to shape the heel/back of the shoe. Tape into place. Next, cut the poster board along the 6" mark on both sides until they can be curved to form the part that has the laces (Have no idea what it is called). Tape into place. Cover with foil.

Next, I rolled a piece of GB large enough to cover the top and sides of the can (which is lying on it's side) and enough to go halfway back the poster board and cut a curve from 1 long side to fit around the "part with the laces". Trimmed it to sit flush with the sheet I was baking it on. Then I rolled a circle to fit the "toe" overlapping it about 1/4" onto the previous piece. Used water as the glue to hold it in place and again trimmed to meet the sheet. I rolled a rectangle long enough to fit around the back of the shoe and overlap a 1/4" onto the sides and curved the top 2 corners. Again, water used for glue. Next the upper part of the shoe, this I did in 2 pieces (only have 2 hands) but, if someone is helping you, you could do it in one. Again, a rectangle to fit except about 1 1/2" for the tongue and glued in place with water. I just cut a piece the height I needed for the tongue and held it in place by the pieces just wrapped around. Again, water as glue, but, only a 1/4 of the way up. I curled the edges of the wrapped piece and the tongue back just a bit. You can see this caused them to fall completely during baking, so I just baked a piece about 5"x6" around the coffee can to fit the gap it left and it became a wall/roof support. The other supports were 2" tall by 5" long triangles baked around the edge of a 6" cake pan. I then took a piece about 1" tall, used some water for glue and wrapped it around the bottom of the shoe from the front of the heel to the same point on the other side. Took another piece, used water for glue and wrapped it around the heel and overlapped 1/4". Try not to push the bottoms in as you won't be able to get your coffee can out.I baked it for almost an hour, until I tapped it and it sounded hard. After the shoe cooled, I removed the can and poster board and used the cake board to make a 6" floor which was placed where the lace part met the top of the can. I used a dremmel to cut out the windows and the door. The window sills and the door were made from gumpaste. The roof itself was graham crackers covered in pretzel sticks. The mice were all hand formed from Pastillage. All pieces were held in place by royal (and you thought I was going to say water!)

The Sorting Hat was formed over, you guessed it, Poster board covered in foil. The features were again glued on with water prior to baking. The base was baked seperate and the top glued (with royal) onto the bottom after everything was cool. I used powdered black food coloring to highlight the eyes and mouth and cocoa petal dust to highlight other areas of the hat.

I think that covers it. Any questions, just holler.

Forgot to add this:

Gingerbread Dough

Makes a little less than three pounds dough

5 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoons ground ginger

1/2 tablespoon ground cloves

1/2 tablespoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened

3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2-3/4 cup water 'til it feels right to you

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until soft and light, about 3 or 4 minutes.

Scrape the bowl and beater and add a third of the dry ingredients. Finally, beat in water and the remaining dry ingredients. The dough will be somewhat dry and crumbly.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, but don't overwork it to the point that the butter melts.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for a few minutes at room temperature.


Edited by Artistic Sugarworks (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love everyone's awesome and inspiring work.

Chef-boy might get my old picture scanned just any minute now. In the meantime here are some from The Enchanted Forest at The Pink Palace Museum here in Memphis--these are donated for a beautiful charity Christmas exposition and I helped execute/facilitate the last one, the millhouse, designed by my boss.

While I do have permission from the Pink Palace to take the pictures, I apologize in advance for not getting every artist's name & stuff--I just wanted to bring some gingerbready good wishes to egullet for a

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to Everyone

I'm not Patrick and my camera's zoom is broken but these are great compared to the photographic quality of my own house, Magnolia Manor, that I will hopefully post later after it is scanned.

Hey, ChezKaren, tell Erika that hers is the first one here. Erika is the pastry chef of The Peabody Hotel.

R0010957.jpg

R0010961.jpg

R0010965.jpg

R0010963.jpg

R0010965.jpg

R0010966.jpg

R0010967.jpg

R0010969.jpg

R0010972.jpg

R0010974.jpg

R0010976.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew that boy would come in handy if I could just hold out long enough!!! :laugh: He got my old gingerbread house scanned for me.

OK--the story is, It's Magnolia Manor, a run down orphanage and the fairy/angel enchants the magnolia tree and the little elfs pop out of the flowers and fix things up for Christmas. There's elves fixing shutters and bringing in the tree and one is sitting on the tree being carried in and truthfully I can't rememer what the other elves are doing--but it's all good!!! Oh yeah there's an orphan peeking out the window too.

gingerbreadhouse.jpg

gingerbreadangel.jpg

This is based on a real house in Holly Springs, Mississippi :biggrin:


Edited by K8memphis (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I never knew you could make a gingerbread dough that would bake o.k. vertically. That's hard to believe.................

I've always baked it inverted over something.........

thanks for sharing!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's mine from 2 years ago...the pot and snowflakes are gingerbread, the tree is a styrofoam base; the fairies, pointsettias,bird tree topper

gallery_34185_1689_481381.jpg

gallery_34185_1689_651311.jpg

gallery_34185_1689_466232.jpg

gallery_34185_1689_95545.jpg


Edited by mpshort (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Terrasanct
      Hi all, haven't been here for years, not since about the time Bourdain was stuck in Lebanon.  It's been a while.  But I knew it was the best place to ask a food question.  On a trip to Seattle a year or so ago, we stopped at the Starbucks reserve at the headquarters.  They sell Princi baked goods.  There were so many things I couldn't figure out what to get, so I got a big round loaf of bread and a package of three huge crackers.  The crackers were just so good, and we've been getting them on every trip.  Since the apocalypse and everything, no traveling and lots of baking.  I ordered some overpriced semolina, thinking those huge crackers must be semolina based.  The crackers I baked were very good, but not quite the quality I was hoping for.
       
      So here are the things I could do differently--I only have regular olive oil right now, not extra virgin.  That might make a difference in the richness. The recipe calls for half semolina, maybe a higher percentage would be better?  I was able to roll out really thin, so that's not a problem.
       
      If anyone is familiar with those crackers and how they are made, I'd appreciate it.  Maybe I'll stick around this time.
    • By JoNorvelleWalker
      Ankarsrum, the Swedish mixer of many names: Electrolux Assistent, DLX, Verona, Magic Mill...
       

       
       
      I understand a few eGullet folks have these, or have had.  Mine came this afternoon.  From what I've read, mixing procedure with the Ankarsrum is different from mixing with planetary stand mixers.  At the moment I need advice specifically with whether I should use the dough hook (with or without the scraper arm) or the roller attachment for my bread.
       
      The Ankarsrum manual says to use the dough hook for dough with between 1 and 1.5 liters of liquid ingredients.  OK.  My usual dough recipe uses 410 g of water.  Rose Levy Beranbaum in The Bread Bible says to use the dough hook when mixing less than 4 pounds of dough.  Which if my math is correct is about 750 g of water (math is not my thing).  Beranbaum adds "For larger amounts, use the roller and scraper."
       
      Yet most bread recipes in the Ankarsrum recipe booklet that call for the dough hook use about a liter of liquid.  The recipes that call for the roller use less liquid, 400-600 ml.  Beranbaum is usually right but I'm wondering if she's wrong?
       
      Thoughts or suggestions?
       
       
      P.S.  Sparkling Gold was not my first color choice.  Sparkling Gold was perhaps not my thirteenth color choice.  But Sparkling Gold was 10 percent off.  Besides, the gold color matches the gold lettering on the bowl and dials.  Now I feel better.
       
       
    • By jedovaty
      (Note: This topic was split from the Monkey Bread topic, to keep both discussions focused and relevant to the question at hand.)
      I made inverse puff pastry last week for "chasson aux pommes" (apple turnovers).  Never made puff pastry before.  Beginner's luck, turned out beyond expectations, super layers, butter, crisp exterior, tender honeycomb inerior (even without yeast!!), lightly sweet, slightly tart, it took every bit of will power not to eat them before taking them to work. 
      Based on all the suggestions, I saved the scraps, and additionally separated them by size and shape.  Seems like I can make something called "monkey bread", but I have no clue what that actually is.  I've researched it, and it seems I should just bunch it up with sugar and bake... but these aren't yeasted, sooooo wouldn't bunching these up screw up the layers and make more of a pie dough squishy thing?
      Reading the forums, with puff pastry I can make little cookies or crackers or other things.  But I'm not quite sure how to do this?  They are kind of small to twist into sticks or roll into arlettes?  Help please and thank you??? 🤝
      For now, I've put scraps in the freezer.

    • By Pastrypastmidnight
      So I tried my hand at croissants for the first time in about 5 years. I used the recipe from the Bouchon Bakery cookbook. Despite the fact that I really struggled rolling them out (the dough was very stiff and resisted rolling), tore the dough layer in small patches quite a bit on the last turn, and probably took too long letting the butter get too warm, I got nice layers on the outside and on the interior and they did shatter nicely on the outside. I did not get that beautiful open honeycomb interior, however. 
       
      I’d love any tips or feedback or advice anyone could offer to do better next time—thanks!
       

    • By curls
      So, what is everyone doing for the pastry & baking side of Easter?
       
      I'm working on the following chocolates: fruit & nut eggs, hollow bunnies, Jelly Belly filled bunnies, coconut bunnies, dragons (filled with rice krispies & chocolate), peanut butter hedgehogs, and malted milk hens. Hoping to finish my dark chocolate production today and get started on all my milk chocolate items.
       
      My father-in-law will be baking the traditional family Easter bread a day or two before Easter. Its an enriched bread and he makes two versions -- one with raisins and one without (I prefer the one with raisins).
       

       
      And I was lucky enough to spot this couple in the sale moulds stock at last year's eGullet chocolate & confections workshop in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. These love bunnies help so very much with Easter chocolate production!  ;-)

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...