T he holiday season is officially in full gear. For many families, decorating a gingerbread house is an annual holiday event and at Houston Methodist Hospital we are no exception. What started as an idea back in 2006, has now become the norm for patients, their families and employees to enjoy during the month of December.
Gerardo Rosas, pastry chef at Houston Methodist Hospital, teamed up with other members in the hospital to create a life-size gingerbread house that would be put on display in our hospital lobby. His vision starts becoming a reality in September and takes about three months to complete. Gerardo sketches his design and works closely with the carpentry department to create a plywood frame that holds the cookie house together.
Some of the key ingredients used to complete his masterpiece:
- 200 pounds of powdered sugar
- 4 gallons of egg whites
- 1 pound cream of tartar
- 8 ounces of almond flavor
- 80 pounds of candy
- 45 sheet pans of gingerbread.
Once the frame is complete, Rosas goes to work rolling out 45 sheet pans of the gingerbread and starts designing the house. He takes the gingerbread and turns it into the logs and stone to create a cabin like feel.Our gingerbread house contains over 200 pounds of sugar and 4 gallons of egg whites Click To Tweet
After he lays the gingerbread on the framework he begins icing and decorating the house using 80 pounds of candy. Each year his design and vision are different from the last. The roof is made of 50 pounds of cake icing. To ice and decorate the entire house it takes about two weeks.
The Monday after Thanksgiving Rosas and his team begins to assemble. The house is wired with electric lights, some of which can been seen through the gelatin windows. The carpentry department builds a picket fence, installs the lit Christmas trees and wrap the fake presents.
“I do this for the patients,” said Rosas. “The holidays are a time to be merry and bright and I want them to feel at home. A gingerbread house feels like home to me.”
The gingerbread house process
Planning the gingerbread house:
Cutting the gingerbread:
Making the house:
The front of the gingerbread house finished:
The completed gingerbread house: