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Gingerbread Victorian Pictures
Christmas 2009

I hadn't built a gingerbread house in several years, and I missed it, so this year I jumped head-first into another complicated project. Only I didn't have a specific house plan in mind. So I scoured the internet looking for ideas and I came across this one. This year's gingerbread is modeled after the Haunted Mansion in Disney Paris. All of the Disney parks have some variation of the Haunted Mansion ride, but the specific house style is all very unique to each park. In Disney Paris, the house is an old, rickety Victorian with gables and a wrap-around porch and chimneys. My very first gingerbread house was a three story Victorian that came from the winning contestant in the gingerbread house contest in a previous year's issue of House and Garden, and I was quite proud of it. So proud, in fact, that I shellacked it and tried to keep it for future holidays, but it managed to "disappear" when I requested that it be stored in my parents attic (I was still living at home at the time). It was lovely and I never got any pictures of it and I've always regretted that. I've always wanted to do another Victorian to make up for my lack of record of the first one.

So when I saw pictures of this house, I decided that I just had to recreate it. In addition to the house just looking cool, there is this guy online who had already created a gingerbread plan based on this house. But the gingerbread house looked smaller than I was used to making, and I couldn't quite tell if it was proportional or not. Fortunately, what this guy does before he made this into a gingerbread houses, is to make and offer paper-house plans. He works out the floor plans of the Disney mansions in some CAD software, creates plates of each wall that can be printed on cardstock, cut out, and folded to make a scale-model house. So I cheated a little this year, and instead of drawing out my own blueprints to scale, I just printed out his.

I have a favorite brand of gingerbread mix, Betty Crocker Gingerbread Mix, in a red box, because it has a gingerbread "cake" recipe that makes the gingerbread much softer even when rolled out like cookie dough. But I couldn't find any of that at any store I went to on the day I went shopping for the initial supplies. In fact, I couldn't find any gingerbread mix at all, and I didn't really have time to go home, look up gingerbread recipies online, then go back to the store to buy all the individual ingredients to make it from scratch, although I was about to do just that. Finally, at my last stop, I found a tub of pre-made gingerbread dough, and bought several of those in desparation. I also bought a couple of tubs of sugar cookie dough, since they had them, to give people some options if they didn't like gingerbread cookies. I decided to make all the roof pieces out of sugar cookie. The pre-made did turn out crispier like gingerbread is wont to do, but not bad, although I still prefer my previous brand and method.

I rolled out the dough to cover an entire baking sheet and cut all the pieces after baking. This way I could ensure that everything stayed the proper size and all the edges were straight. I used the paper-house cut-outs as templates, and I cut out the windows after baking also (you'll see why soon).

I made a few modifications, because the house still looked too small for me. Inspired by someone else's modifications, I added a circular tower and electric lighting. I intentionally did not decorate it to look like the Haunted Mansion or any other spooky or Halloween theme. And I'm rather pleased with how it turned out. Also, this year I set up my webcam to monitor the gingerbread-making progress so that anyone online could sign in and watch the building as it happened.

Click on the thumbnails below to see larger images. Please do not steal these images. If you wish to copy these images, show these images on your own website or link to mine, please ask permission first.

The first wall with the first (failed) window attempt using yellow sugar crystals

Cutting the walls

The new window method

Making hard candy from scratch...

then adding the banana creme flavor at the precise temperature...

then pouring the liquid into the window holes...

let harden & set in the window holes

The excess is poured into a baking sheet as leftover candy

A wall with the hard candy windows

the wall with a flashlight behind it

Next is standing up the walls & "gluing" together with icing

The lighting element is placed inside w/the cord accessable in back

The main body of the house lit up

"Cementing" the walls with Royal icing & adding the tower

A better view of the circular tower

Added an ice cream "waffle bowl" as the tower roof

Adding the sugar cookie roof panels, third story/attic, and chimneys

Grey buttercream frosting is the "stone" foundation

Melted Super-White chocolate in a decorator tube for the porch railings

Icing the walls with purple buttercream frosting

Added cinnamon waffle-print cookies as roof shingles

Added the third story/attic sugar cookie roof

Test run of the house lit up & porches in place

Melted Super-White chocolate poured onto pretzels as load-bearing support, and wax paper over railing pattern, let to harden

Sugar cookie porch roofs & Super-White chocolate railings in place

A closeup of the porch railings

Front of the house with porch, pretzel & Super-White chocolate railing

Holiday decorations added & lights lit

Green-colored chocolate wreath on attic, candy "shrubery", and sliced lemon candy windows on tower

Solid green-colored chocolate tree from melted chocolate & 3D candy mold

Left side

Right side with tower

Back side with storage shed

Wreath & Super-White chocolate lightning rod closeup

Front porch closeup

Front side lit up

Front side with flash

Front side without cutting off the third story

Front side lit without cutting off the third story

Me posing with the completed house

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