Gingerbread houses that sweeten the holiday spirit

Remember when the expectations for making a gingerbread house was the 3D equivalent of a children’s stick-figure drawing with simple crosses on the windows?

Those days are long gone.  The above architectural cookie masterpiece is a replica of the Winchester Mystery House, a 160-room Victorian mansion with twisting halls and secret passageways built by Sarah Winchester, the heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune.  The allegedly haunted house is now a huge tourist attraction in San Jose, California, drawing especially large crowds around Halloween.  No word if this gingerbread version of the Winchester abode is occupied by ghosts as well.

The Winchester cookie mansion is one of a slew of over-the-top gingerbread designs featured on WebUrbanist, a hip architecture site.

With the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary right around the corner, I’m partial to this fabulous White House design:

This one just looks too gorgeous to give to Sasha and Malia Obama to snack on — not that their health conscious mom would let them munch too far!

Walt Disney World, which once coaxed me into buying a gigantic $8 candy apple that I felt pressure to finish, has mastered the art of cookie construction.

Disney is famous for creating life-size gingerbread houses which their costume characters can “live” in and greet amusement park guests.  Check out the sugar-coated fun that Stitch from “Lilo & Stitch” fame is having this year.

But as impressive as the world of Larger Than Life 3D Cookies may be, there is still an amazing appeal to decorating gingerbread houses with absolutely no mess (or chances of ants or mice occupying the home).

WallCandy’s Design Your Own Gingerbread House is a way for kids to repeatedly enjoy the nuances of ice cream cone and lollipop construction without fear of long-term dental implications or a lecture about the childhood obesity epidemic.

The removable wall decal set comes with gingerbread walls and roof, candy cane lamp posts, ice cream cone chimney, snow ball pastries, snow icing, snow mounds, jelly rolls and various hard candies, gum balls and jelly beans.

It’s a way to extend the holiday fun all winter long, whether you live in a snowy climate or not.

Happy decorating!


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