Winter Break Fun
During the long weeks over winter break my sister Katie and I decided to enter in the local gingerbread competition held by the local newspaper. The rules were clear; we could make any structure or dwelling as long as it could fit on an 18x18 board and be completely edible. We shortly decided that we wanted to enter in the professional/ business category and represent UMM by constructing Powers Hall out of gingerbread….from scratch. This turned out to be no small task, especially since we had never made a gingerbread house before! Go big or go home, right?
The process went something like this. Over the next week (except go to work) we did nothing but work on this gingerbread house day in and day out. First we made the gingerbread dough and chilled it overnight. In the mean time we measured and cut out stencils of the four walls and roof of the building so we could use them to accurately cut out windows before baking the pieces.
The next day we prepared the 18x18 board, baked the gingerbread pieces and let them cool, and made the fondant. For all you non-baking folks, fondant is made out of marshmallow and sugar and used on fancy cakes for that smooth look. For this purpose, we used fondant for A LOT of things. We used it to cover the board in ‘snow’, snowmen, season’s greetings lettering, window panes, pillars, and much more.
At this point, it was about time to start constructing the soon-to-be masterpiece. We made some heavy duty frosting to use, and made some caramel (which is really hard to work with – literally!!) We decided to use the caramel as a glue to hold the structure together. This worked REALLY well – too well in fact! As soon as that caramel was off the hot pan, it started to harden immediately making it almost impossible to work with. It held the structure together alright; in fact, the structure is still standing as we speak!
After the structure was built and detailed, it was time to take it to be judged at the wellness studio by the local health food store. We took some time to look around at all the other houses that people had made. There were only a few for our category (we’re hoping to get more people on board for next year!). It turns out that we won first place for the competition and got rewarded bragging rights and some goodies from local businesses.
Any suggestions on what we should construct next year??
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Reply #3 on : Thu January 19, 2012, 10:08:14
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