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Gingerbread House Traditions

Posted on 12/03/2012 by Leeann Donnelly

The holidays are filled with traditions and when the Christmas season arrives, we have many we look forward to at Biltmore.  One of our most popular is the annual tree raising.  Santa delivers Biltmore’s holiday centerpiece, a 35-foot Fraser fir, to the front doors of Biltmore House on a horse drawn carriage. 

Another tradition we look forward to is the making of our grand scale gingerbread houses, one for Biltmore House and one for our Inn.  Each year, our talented pastry chefs create gingerbread replicas, covered in sweet treats down to the smallest details.  At Biltmore House, this remarkable creation can be seen by guests in the kitchen of the home.  And at the Inn, the gingerbread treat is a highlight of the lobby decor.  This is an image of the gingerbread house at Inn on Biltmore Estate

You don’t have to be a pastry chef, though, to start your own gingerbread house tradition.  Our chefs suggest letting your creativity guide you, using a wide variety of treats to add sparkle, texture and color.  You will be surprised how graham crackers can turn into a walkway or boxed cereal can shingle a roof!  Use your favorite gingerbread recipe, or the one below from our chefs.

Gingerbread House Recipe

1/4 c brown sugar 

1/4 c molasses 

1/2 c light corn syrup 

1/2 c shortening 

1 1/2t. Ginger 

1 1/2t. Cinnamon 

3 1/2 c AP flour 

In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup and shortening.  Melt over medium heat.  Mix dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment.  Pour melted syrup into dry ingredient and mix until combined.  Roll dough between two pieces of parchment to desired thickness (1/4” is usually good!).  Cut desired shapes from the dough, carefully removing the scraps and leaving the pieces for your house on the parchment.  This will keep your shapes from being warped. Bake pieces at 350 until light golden around the edges.  

 **this dough will bake very firm and will hold up well for gingerbread houses, however is is not the best for eating.

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