Dec. 22, 2011 at 9:15 AM ET
We’re all familiar with one of the most treasured food traditions of the holiday season: building a gingerbread house. But that classic one-story structure just doesn't cut it anymore. Take a look at some imaginative constructions that take gingerbread to a whole new level of awesome.
This elaborate creation will be familiar to Harry Potter fans: It's the Weasley family's home, known as "The Burrows." Made with over 200 pieces, the house took Michelle Jamieson more than a week to construct. Her favorite part is the laundry line of little sweaters, modeled after the ones that mom Molly Weasley would make for her kids each Christmas. Find photos and instructions on Michelle's blog, A Can of Crafty Curiosities.
Speaking of familiar houses, did you know a gingerbread replica of the White House is made every year? 2011's edition took months to make and currently sits on a marble-topped console table in the State Dining Room. Every element on this 400-pound model is edible and every inch is covered in white chocolate. Created by Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses and his team, the house has four interior furnished rooms, working lights (the only inedible part), a Christmas forest, and replicas of first lady Michelle Obama’s kitchen garden and first dog Bo. Learn more about it at Obama Foodorama.
Take a good look at Shane Parker's Angry Birds-themed gingerbread house; it's probably not going to be standing much longer. “Unfortunately what I failed to realize is that given the nature of the game (and my amateur baking skills) the house was doomed to a crashing finish,” Parker said on his blog, Zero Lives.
Chef Rachel Klemek of Blackmarket Bakery jumped at the chance to create this gingerbread Imperial Walker, an AT-AT (all-terrain armored transport), recognized most from the invasion of Hoth at the beginning of “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back." Every year, the bakery creates a design for the Discovery Science Center’s “Science of Gingerbread” exhibit, which this year coincided with their "Star Wars" exhibit. Past entries have included a gingerbread Taco Bell and Zamboni.
It took a whole afternoon for blogger Scott Heimendinger of Seattle Food Geek to build this gingerbread Eiffel Tower. The structure holds particular significance to him because he proposed to his wife at the top of the real one while it was lit up in blue (hence the recreation). “You can cheat as much as you want, as long as you can't see it from the outside," Scott told TODAY.com. "There were plenty of hot-glued bamboo skewers keeping my pieces intact!”
Can top these amazing creations with your own? Submit your gingerbread constructions to us below and we’ll add the best ones to this post!
Lisa Granshaw writes and produces for Today.com. She's never made a gingerbread house before, but after seeing these she may just attempt to make a gingerbread Tardis one of these days!
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