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Ovation: World Record-Breaking Gingerbread House.

12/05/2013

gingerbreadOne holiday tradition that my family could never accomplish was a gingerbread house.  To begin with, none of us like gingerbread.  I have, however, tried to build a tree by stacking star-shaped sugar cookies of varying sizes and gluing them together with lots of icing.  I once bought a kit that was supposed to make it simple to assemble a gingerbread house.  The box included all the candies and icings needed to build and decorate a beautiful dessert display.  I couldn’t do it.

Last week, the Texas A&M Traditions Club with the help of the community of Bryan, set a new Guinness World Record for the largest gingerbread house.  The yummy construction project is now being used as a tourist attraction to raise money to fund a new facility for the trauma program at nearby St. Joseph Health System.  Guinness World Records has confirmed that the 39,201.8-cubic-foot structure surpassed the previous record of 3,660 cubic feet set at the Mall of America in Minnesota in 2006.

A local home builder and architect created the design and almost all of the materials, from lumber to butter, were donated.  Like other homes in the city of Bryan, the gingerbread house needed to get the proper permits and approval by the fire department.

In order to set the record, the entire exterior of the house was required to be made of gingerbread and icing.  The house, measuring sixty by forty-two feet and almost twenty-one feet tall at its highest point, required 1,800 pounds of butter, 7,200 eggs, 7,200 pounds of flour and close to 3,000 pounds of brown sugar.  More than 22,000 pieces of candy were attached to the outside, making it a thirty-six-million-calorie home!

The house requires daily maintenance because the Texas heat has melted some of the candy and other pieces occasionally fall off.  Plus, bees just love the place!

The outside of this gingerbread house is roped off so that no one tempted to make sure it’s really made of gingerbread can reach out and take a bite.  No one in my family would try to snack on any gingerbread.  I wouldn’t be surprised, however, to see one of us grab at a gumdrop or a candy cane.

Do you like gingerbread?  Have you ever built a gingerbread house for the holidays?

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6 Comments
  1. Very cool. I do like gingerbread and love snaps with hot tea in the afternoon. Thanks for sharing. Interesting about the Texas heat melting some of the candy.

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  2. My son and I got a gingerbread house mold one year for Christmas when he was about 4. We made a gingerbread house every year for many. The trick is the icing. And when he was in high school he had to build a (loose) replica of the Globe Theater. He made a Gingerbread Globe!

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  3. Yes, made many over the years with the kids. The tradition was to enjoy the pretty house thru the Christmas season. Then on New Year’s Day, when we took down the tree, we’d put safety goggles on the kids, hand them hammers and let them break it apart (only way as they were as hard as rocks by that time). Then we had mugs of hot chocolate to dunk them in. Yummy!

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    • I think that sounds like a fantastic tradition!

      You must be quite talented. There is no way my mother could have kept us away from sugar-coated treats long enough for them to become hard as rocks!

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