Gingerbread House Fairy Tales

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Gingerbread House History? Not Really….
While researching for this post, which was originally titled, "The History of the Gingerbread House", we discovered something frankly a little more interesting. Fabulous facts and startling stories. Like did you know there is a $78,000 Gingerbread House? Or that a gingerbread house built last year was so big it required a building permit? History aside (but included at the end for good measure), enjoy our favorite Gingerbread House stories… one bite at a time.

World's Most Expensive Gingerbread House Costs $78,000

The world's most expensive gingerbread house comes with real rubies and pearls of course! Pastry chef Georgia Green will fashion a realistic gingerbread confection replica of your home for the astounding cost of nearly $78,000, shipping not included. The $78,000 gingerbread house stands just over 2 ft. tall and is made with Meridian Black Strap molasses, Ceylon cinnamon, Echire Butter, Suma raw cane sugar, Duchy eggs, rubies, and pearls. Place your order by December 10 for Christmas delivery!

Life-sized Gingerbread Playhouses

Neiman Marcus starting building life-sized fairytale gingerbread playhouses for $15,000 in 2010. New York sweets purveyor Dylan's Candy Bar made the edible, 6.6-foot-high gingerbread playhouse from 381 lbs. of gingerbread and 517 lbs. of icing! The playhouse was decorated with thousands of cookies, lollipops, gummies, mints, gumdrops and (of course) a candy-encrusted roof.  Yum.

The World's Largest Gingerbread House

Located in Bryan, TX and needing a building permit (not kidding), the larger-than-life gingerbread house took 7,200 pounds of flour, 7,200 eggs, approximately 3,000 pounds of brown sugar, and 1,800 pounds of butter. It measures 39,201.8 cubic feet and officially holds the new Guinness World Record. This defeats the record previously held by the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, with its 36,600 cubic foot gingerbread house. 

The Fairmont San Francisco Gingerbread House

Catch the Fairmont's towering two-story Gingerbread House in the hotel's grand lobby until January 1st and prepare to be amazed! The San Francisco hotel has been transforming into a "Winter Wonderland" for more than a century with holiday festivities and must-see decor. The house is made from an impressive 7,750 pieces of home-baked gingerbread, 1,500 pounds of royal icing, 700 pounds of candy and 895 hours of work. 

Disneyland Resort Debuts Gingerbread House
No surprise Disney has hosted the tradition of making holiday gingerbread sculptures in the past, ranging from the small to larger creations. This year, it took a team of 25 bakers, artists and engineers to create a gingerbread replica of the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. The beautiful, and edible 7.5-foot-tall by 12-foot-wide house holds more than 500 pounds of gingerbread, 60 gallons of frosting and 200 pounds of sugar. Very "Happiest Place on Earth" worthy.

Gingerbread White House
The tradition of displaying a gingerbread house in the White House at Christmas began in 1972, and the first to replicate the White House appeared in 1979. Requiring two weeks to construct, this year's house features a working fountain with bubbling water (with a little blue food coloring), working electric lights, images of the first family, six Christmas trees, red carpeting, chocolate furniture and a chocolate presidential seal over a doorway. Prominently featured are oversized figures of Bo and Sunny, the first family’s dogs, made of dark chocolate.

Inspired? Lucky for you, it's Holiday Gingerbread House Time at Young Chefs Acacemy! Check your local YCA for dates 

And as Promised, a brief History of Gingerbread Houses.... 
  • The tradition of making decorated gingerbread houses started in Germany in the early 1800s.
  • According to certain researchers, the first gingerbread houses were the result of the well-known Grimm's fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel" in which the two children abandoned in the forest found an edible house made of bread with sugar decorations. After this book was published, German bakers began baking ornamented fairy-tale houses of lebkuchen (gingerbread). 
  • Gingerbread houses became popular during Christmas, a tradition that came to America with Pennsylvanian German immigrants.
  • Gingerbread, as we know it today, descends from Medieval European culinary traditions. Gingerbread was also shaped into different forms by monks in Franconia, Germany in the 13th century. 
  • Decorated gingerbreads were given as presents to adults and children, or given as a love token, and bought particularly for weddings, where gingerbreads were distributed to the wedding guests
  • Gingerbread was also worn as a talisman in battle or as protection against evil spirits.
  • Common ingredients in gingerbread: cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, anise, ginger, molasses, brown sugar, dark corn syrup and cardamom.


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