Gingerbread Architect: Recipes and Blueprints for Twelve Classic American Homes

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Overview

What happens when an architect who is also an avid baker gets together with a house-obsessed pastry chef? Twelve classic American homes rendered in gingerbread.

Are you dreaming of a colonial Christmas? Here’s your chance to build a traditional Cape Cod house in freshly baked gingerbread, complete with breath-mint pinnacles, Twizzler shingles, and a brick-red fruit-leather chimney. Prefer nineteenth-century New York elegance? Why not whip up an urban brownstone, embellished with...

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Overview

What happens when an architect who is also an avid baker gets together with a house-obsessed pastry chef? Twelve classic American homes rendered in gingerbread.

Are you dreaming of a colonial Christmas? Here’s your chance to build a traditional Cape Cod house in freshly baked gingerbread, complete with breath-mint pinnacles, Twizzler shingles, and a brick-red fruit-leather chimney. Prefer nineteenth-century New York elegance? Why not whip up an urban brownstone, embellished with crushed butterscotch windows, Tootsie Roll staircase posts, and a front courtyard tiled in mini Chiclets. Is the Santa Fe look more your style? Try a gingerbread pueblo, landscaped with rock-candy cacti and turbinado-sugar sand.

Here to guide you through every step of building your gingerbread dream house is The Gingerbread Architect, created by New York— and London-based architect Susan Matheson and professional baker Lauren Chattman. Featuring detailed blueprints and elevations of the houses alongside baking directions and essential construction notes, this modern guide to the traditional holiday craft of creating gingerbread houses has projects for bakers of all levels, from novice to advanced.

For each house, Matheson and Chattman provide historical context and descriptions of prominent architectural features, demonstrating how to execute those characteristics in gingerbread and candy. Detailed instructions cover everything from baking and assembling the walls to piping icing and landscaping the yard. And to help match gingerbread houses to bakers–and their little helpers–each house has a difficulty rating, ranging from one gingerbread man to four.

With full-color photographs of the finished houses, tips on the construction schedule, baking and candy resource guides, a glossary of architectural terms, and instructions for lighting the houses from within, The Gingerbread Architect is the complete guide to the ultimate family holiday baking project–for anyone with a keen eye and a sweet tooth.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307406781
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/21/2008
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

SUSAN MATHESON grew up in Nova Scotia with a passion for baking. Eventually, she trained as an architect in Canada and England, and has maintained a private practice in both Manhattan and London for the past fifteen years. She specializes in building and renovating houses in historic districts.

LAUREN CHATTMAN is a cookbook author and former professional pastry chef who has written nine books, including, most recently, Icebox Cakes. She has also collaborated with former White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier on Dessert University and with Daniel Leader on Local Breads. Her recipes have appeared in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Cook’s Illustrated, the New York Times, Metropolitan Home, Family Circle, and Redbook, and she has appeared on the Today show and QVC. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Sag Harbor, New York.

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Customer Reviews

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( 15 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    We've made 6 of the designs over the past few years; we don't fo

    We've made 6 of the designs over the past few years; we don't follow the decoration ideas, just the construction, but the houses go together fine!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    nice present

    this is a cute coffee table book to bring out around christmas time!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    More than any book in our crafty gingerbread-house-ogling (and,

    More than any book in our crafty gingerbread-house-ogling (and, occasionally, -making) collection -- and we have one (or five...ahem) of 'em -- this book, more than any other, not only captivates with its varied designs, it also manages to keep a few of them small enough in scale for me to actually attempt. And it has an entire first section on technique and recipes, so that one can plunge in headfirst to a design feeling prepared, or you can just dip in and out for inspiration, be it from the lovely photos or the detailed instructions. More than just a "coffee table" book -- although it is that, and a good one -- it is one that can whip my children into creative powerhouses. And at the very least, it can encourage you to experiment with a little extra panache, even for those of you who just want the comfort of the ol' square ginger-shack.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    Title says it all

    As an architect who hosts an anual holiday gathering, this book provided us with both a perfect gift as well as a great resource for our annual gingerbread architecture competition. Great photos, good directions, not too expensive. I loved it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted December 21, 2009

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    Posted December 27, 2008

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    Posted December 8, 2008

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    Posted December 7, 2009

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    Posted December 4, 2008

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    Posted November 13, 2009

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    Posted December 3, 2008

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    Posted December 19, 2009

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    Posted January 6, 2009

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    Posted August 13, 2009

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    Posted December 13, 2008

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