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Making gingerbread houses in Atlanta

courtesy Young Chef's Academy, Sandy Springs

courtesy Young Chef's Academy, Sandy Springs

We have a tradition in our family: making gingerbread houses. Since my daughter was two, we have made gingerbread houses each year during the holidays. It’s not only a fun family-bonding activity, it satisfies my need to be “crafty.” I enjoy attempting different structures each year and am getting more and more adventuresome in the houses I tackle.

There is one gingerbread house I’ll likely never attempt: the life-sized cottage at the St. Regis Atlanta. I am fascinated by this gingerbread house and can’t wait to take my children to see it as inspiration before we begin constructing our own.

The gingerbread house at the St. Regis starts with a wooden frame, which is

courtesy St. Regis Atlanta

courtesy St. Regis Atlanta

paneled with gingerbread, icing, and candy. It took over 500 hours to build this house. Twelve hours were spent on a Jelly Belly bear portrait and it took four hours to make an M&M St. Regis logo. Pictures don’t do this house justice!

Here’s what was used to construct the house:

  • 800 eggs
  • 350 lbs. sugar
  • 1000 lbs. flour
  • 25 lbs. spices
  • 400 lbs. royal icing
  • 1003 gingerbread bricks
  • 874 gummy bears
  • 18 lbs. sugar crystal icing
  • 4500 blue mints
  • 2800 fruit candies melted down for windows
  • 725 M&M’s
  • 143 chocolate covered gummy bears
  • 10 lbs. homemade candy
Hailey Cho creates her own gingerbread masterpiece at the Young Chef's Academy in Sandy Springs.

Hailey Cho creates her own gingerbread masterpiece at the Young Chef's Academy in Sandy Springs. (courtesy YCA)

If you want to make a gingerbread house but feel overwhelmed by baking and constructing one yourself, there are still a few workshops around town where you can make one with the pros.

Viking Cooking School, Atlanta

Decorate a pre-constructed gingerbread house using premium decorating materials. Pricing includes one house, decorating materials, snacks, and a beverage. 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Dec. 17 or 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 23. 1745 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, 404-745-9064, $59 per house.

Publix Apron’s Cooking School, Alpharetta

Skip the clean-up at home and bring the family in for a group decorating experience. Pricing includes one adult and up to three children ages four and older. 2 p.m. Dec. 19, 7 p.m. Dec. 21. 4305 State Bridge Road, Alpharetta, 770-751-8560, $50.

Young Chef’s Academy, Sandy Springs

You can check two activities off the list with this Gingerbread & Sweets class where participants will decorate both a gingerbread house and cookies. The class is open to children ages four and older. 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 17, 220 Hammond Drive, Sandy Springs, 404-255-9263, $45 for first house, $35 sibling rate if two houses desired.

Young Chef’s Academy, North Druid Hills

Parents, come with children from teeny to teen to decorate a family gingerbread house with all the trimmings. 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Dec. 19, 2903 North Druid Hills Road NE, Atlanta, 404-633-2633, $35.

Jenny-Turknett-Tagline–by Jenny Turknett, Food & More blog

– Jenny Turknett writes about Southern and Neighborhood Fare for the AJC Dining Team. She also publishes her own blog, Going Low Carb.

8 comments Add your comment

Reds

December 15th, 2010
3:40 pm

Almost every year I try to do a Wilton kit…. and almost every year it fails. I dunno why, but I can never get the house to stick together, and then…. you’re screwed!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Atlanta Events, John Kessler. John Kessler said: Making gingerbread houses in Atlanta http://bit.ly/dVHcnl [...]

Reasonable Question

December 15th, 2010
5:24 pm

Not to be a scrooge, but what purpose does this exactly serve? 1,000 lbs of flour & 800 eggs (the candy and sugar portion notwithstanding) – wouldn’t that have been better used going to a food bank than just wasted for our Xmas-time enjoyment? I would have rather the St Regis donated that food and the costs that went into the gingerbread house this holiday season to help feed someone instead of this thing.

[...] Continue reading here: Making gingerbread houses in Atlanta – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

John Kessler

December 15th, 2010
9:49 pm

Reasonable Question – that’s a really good point. Wonder if anyone from the St. Regis has a note about charitable donations.

Lisa

December 15th, 2010
11:39 pm

And just for fun, y’all should check out the gingerbread trailer park at the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club in Little 5 Points. Sense of humor required.

SP

December 16th, 2010
3:40 pm

YES!! You should’ve checked out the gingerbread trailer park entries at the Euchlid Avenue Yacht Club!! So clever!

The St. Regis Atlanta

December 16th, 2010
5:05 pm

Thank you for bringing up the note about charitable donations. At the St. Regis Atlanta, we call our gingerbread house the “Gingerbear House” – not only because of its teddy bear theme throughout, but because of our commitment to The Teddy Bear Crusade benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Just to the right of the Gingerbear House (not shown in the picture above) is a gingerbread collection box where guests are invited to consider a donation. The Gingerbear House allows us to draw attention to a bigger cause; supporting our community through charitable donations, time and service.