Adobe-inspired gingerbread house takes first place in campus competition

Photo Credit: Lauren J. Mapp
Last month, I competed against my classmates in the advanced baking class at San Diego Mesa College in our annual gingerbread house competition, and my house came in first place.

The stress of putting together this house led to me crying on the kitchen floor after setting it on the table to be judged. Walls broke and had to be remade, I ran out of icing on several occasions and had to make what I (wrongly) presumed would be my "last batch," and the wiring for my lights just would stay still.

Inspired by the adobe-style homes where my mother lives near Santa Fe, New Mexico, I created a two-story house complete with gelatin sheet windows, icing-piped chili ristras, Tootsie roll vigas provide imaginary support, the "yard" is covered in sand-colored frosting and candy stones are clustered around the property.

Inside, there is a gingerbread bed covered with a blue fondant blanket -- where six tiny faces sleep -- and two Christmas trees made from ice cream cones and frosting can be seen through the front windows. Outside, there is an adobe horno (oven), a stone with a blue corn "tortilla," the flag of New Mexico and fondant nopal cacti.

The property is surrounded by an adobe fence, which is decorated with frosting holiday garlands, M&Ms and real LED string lights. To abide by the rule that all visible items on the house must be edible, the wire for the light is covered in frosting and the light bulbs are topped with translucent, Japanese rice paper candies to act as the luminaria (paper bags with candles inside) that so often decorate homes in the Santa Fe area during holiday season.

For more information about adobe and pueblo architecture, of the inedible variety, check out Santa Fe Travelers.

Photo Credit: Lauren J. Mapp


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