Top 7 Tips for Building the Perfect Gingerbread House

The holiday season is underway as we get busy filling the hotel with seasonal decor and treats.

During the holiday season, thoughts of Christmas trees, stockings, presents and lights may immediately come to mind. But, nothing adds more charm and personality to the holiday season than a gingerbread house. Whether it’s small, simple or intricate,  gingerbread houses are a classic tradition that make the holidays even more sweet.
Matthew Ryan Gingerbread House

A popular holiday tradition at the hotel has us inviting young and old to enjoy a feast for the eyes and nose — a village of cleverly designed gingerbread houses are on display in the lobby by the Stephen Ave entrance.

Gingerbread House Hyatt Regency Calgary
This year, Chef Sabine Gradauer and her team rolled up their sleeves to build some of the most unique, and of course delicious, gingerbread houses for display and they are not only sharing with you some of their top creations but also their top baking/decorating tips:

  1. The microwave is your friend – If your dough is too tough to roll-out simply microwave for 10 – 15 seconds. Take just the amount you need and zap-it quickly. You’ll find the dough much more pliable and easier to handle.
    Gingerbread dough
  2. Use parchment paper! This is an easy way to roll out, transfer and bake your pieces! Simply flour the parchment paper, roll out your dough, cut your pieces and then lift the entire sheet onto your cookie sheet and bake. When done, remove your cookie sheet from the oven and transfer the parchment sheet to your countertop or table to cool. No risk of breaking your pieces as you move them.
    Parchment Paper
  3. Try cutting your dough using a pizza cutter – A pizza cutter provides a quick straight line for large pieces like walls and roofs.
    pizza cutter
  4. Make a stained glass effect – You can do this by breaking up hard candy and sprinkling it in window cutout before baking. Once it’s baked, it will melt and harden and look like a stained glass window. Make sure you either have a non-stick sheet pan or that you place tin foil underneath the window area.
    Stained glass window
  5. Have a strong supportive base – This will make it easier for moving and transporting later.
  6. Brace the inside of your gingerbread house – Larger than 12” with cardboard or extra large pretzel sticks for support
  7. The frosting sticks like glue!
    Icing
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