Christmastime is gingerbread season in my house! (Did you see me on the Food Network Holiday Gingerbread Showdown?) My oldest daughter's school orchestra, along with the choir and drama department, hosted a fundraiser madrigal dinner this past weekend, and I was asked if I might make a gingerbread castle for the event. Um, heck yeah! I love fun new gingerbread projects!
The end of the year and quarter at school gets crowded. So many performances, rehearsals for the performances, end-of-year projjects, PLUS it's high season for me as a blogger and gingerbread nut. One of those activities and performances was a madrigal dinner fundraiser put on my my daughter's school. The orchestra director asked if I might be willing to make a gingerbread castle to display at the dinner and auction off as a fundraiser, and of course I said "yes!" It's hard to pass up an opportunity for a fun project like this, as busy as I am.
Ond oh my goodness, did things get busy. I kept having to put out fires until the evening before the dinner. I started baking at 8:30 the night before the fundraiser. Finished at 5am.
But you know, when I'm in the zone and creating and making gingerbread, I hardly notice the time and don't feel tired at all. Now the next day--then I felt tired. ;-) But while I was creating? Sheer creativity and flow.
I didn't want the gingerbread castle to be exactly realistic, but I also didn't necessarily want it to be candy-cutesy with lollipop trees and candy cane forests. I found my balance with textured gingerbread baked with brick impressions and royal icing embellishments.
I used the gingerbread cobblestone technique I developed a few years ago to create the bath to the door of the castle.
Royal icing and red sprinkles made charming garlands that festooned the castle.
The evergreen Christmas trees outside the castle were were decorated for Christmas too, of course.
I modified the castle design I made for the Food Network gingerbread challenge to be a second tier to this gingerbread castle.
I used a basketweave tip and royal icing to make the shingles for the turrets on the top level of the castle. This technique bears some exploration, I think. It could be amazing!
Is there any finer sweet treat at Christmastime than a gingerbread house (or castle?)