We have seen quite a few deliciously awesome gingerbread houses this holiday season, but designer and chef Renee Baumann has crafted a gingerbread creation that puts the rest to shame. Artfully combining her architecture and culinary studies, Baumann designed and built an intricate Brooklyn brownstone gingerbread house that looks almost identical to the real thing. Baumann painstakingly recreated a brownstone's features, from the carved cornice and decorative frieze to a bicycle leaning against the stoop. Plus, she detailed every step and made her templates available online, so you can make your own masterpiece at home.
Having graduated from both architecture school and culinary school, Baumann knew that she didn’t want to make a ho-hum candy-covered gingerbread house. “If I’m going to the trouble of making my own darn gingerbread house, then I’m going to make whatever type I want,” Baumann writes on her blog. “So I thought I’d celebrate the house type in my adopted home, Brooklyn. And everyone knows New Yorkers spend a fair amount of their time coveting both real estate and fancy foodstuffs, so the whole thing just seemed to make sense.” We couldn’t agree more.
Baumann’s design is not for the faint of heart. She’s the first to admit that it’s a rather involved gingerbread house, but you don’t get such a beautiful piece of food art without putting in a lot of work. In fact, it’s the attention to detail that makes the brownstone so special. Baumann made original templates for the entire structure and carved wooden pieces so she could easily imprint the dough with a brick pattern and decorative features. When it came to decorating, she included every detail, from two tiny trash cans sitting under the icing fire escape to a bicycle leaning against the snow-covered stoop.
To see more of Baumann’s process, click through our photo gallery, or you can find her detailed step-by-step instructions here. For those who think a gingerbread brownstone is a bit too advanced, Baumann has a lot of great tips and advice for creating any type of gingerbread house, no matter how simple, so head over to her blog Kitchen Table Scraps to learn more.
All images courtesy Renee Baumann