Imagine having a freshly baked Gingerbread House to decorate for once… by fresh I mean straight from the bakery fresh. Doesn’t sound too terrible, right? Typically I get a pre-packaged House but this year I wanted to take things up a notch. Turns out Ottawa is home to a very special Gingerbread Bakery and it became the inspiration for this week’s activity!
…..aannnd to make matters more interesting, I decided to turn this Gingerbread House decorating into a competition with a very talented Ottawa Instragram artist that I will reveal very shortly, so keep reading!
Week #58 Challenge: Participate in a one on one Gingerbread House Decorating Competition!
First thing first, I needed to find a fresh Gingerbread House and turns out the Gingerbread Man in Manotick (see directions) specializes in that! Not only does this bakery sell all kinds of Gingerbread treats but they also make pies and I quote “the best butter tarts on the planet”. They certainly look delicious..
Next, I needed an opponent. My friend Amanda, who you may know as theingdex, came to mind instantly. I wasn’t sure if she would accept as she is highly in demand but was thrilled when she agreed to take part in this friendly competition.
Let the preparation begin…
1- Order a Gingerbread House: This step is important as the Gingerbread Man sells out yearly. The sooner you place your order the better.
Gingerbread Man carries all possible options:
1) Unassembled Gingerbread Houses in sizes ranging from small to large! I ordered two medium houses.
Note: you can purchase icing and candy on site.
2) Pre-assembled Gingerbread House kits, ranging from small to large, which include decorative candies and icing!
3) Don’t have time for a DIY project? You can purchase a pre-decorated Gingerbread House and cookies in all shapes and sizes at the bakery – they are stunning really. This could make an incredible Holiday pot luck dessert, don’t you think?
Make sure to contact Richard or Kaori (husband and wife) at (613) 692-3209 to place an order.
2- Pick-up all necessary supplies:
Icing: We made our own royal icing by following the Wilton Royal Icing Recipe. I’ve made royal icing for years but for whatever reason it was not cooperating at all! It got messy and we got icing where no icing should ever go ha ha..
Candy: Bulk Barn, Party City, Michaels Craft Store and grocery stores carry all kinds of festive candy to decorate with. For a unique option, you may want to consider a Gourmet Candy line like Sugarfina, available at Nordstrom!
Tools: Piping bags, icing tips, icing spatulas and a stand to set your house on.
Ready, set, go….
In terms of styles, theingdex took a traditional path with a red and white theme, while I opted for a contrasting look by going with an array of bright colours.. After hours of fun and tons of work we had a finished product!
Theingdex‘s Traditional Gingerbread House Design
Pretty Mesmerizing’s Modern Gingerbread House Design
Considering how many obstacles we encountered and how the icing was simply not doing what it should, I am pretty proud of how well we did. The fact that we both persevered and completed our house decoration makes us both winners in my book!
Are these Gingerbread Man Houses any good? The next morning, I decided to have a piece of the Gingerbread House with my coffee and it was wonderful, a perfect blend of spices and sweetness! Not regretting my choice at all!
Will you be getting a fresh Gingerbread House from The Gingerbread Man in Manotick?