Christmas at the Grand Hotel. Gingerbread Magic & Christmas Wishes are just a few of the Holiday traditions you can enjoy at the Grand Hotel. The Grand Hotel has been providing families with Christmas traditions for many years. This year will be no different with all of the activities and amenities the Grand has planned for their guests. Just a few include Peppermint Guess, Arts & Crafts, Christmas Movie, Portraits by Renaissance Portrait Studio from 8:00 – 11:00 am, on the Breakfast Saturday dates. And, don’t forget their Christmas Buffet on Christmas Day! These are just a few of the wonderful traditions that the Grand has created and continues to awe us with every year.
The Grand’s culinary magicians will once again create the 700-pound gingerbread masterpiece that perfectly resembles the Grand Hotel property. The 8-foot-wide, 16-foot-long replica of the property takes about 6 weeks to construct in total. The gingerbread village is constructed by executive Chef Mike Wallace, Pastry Chef John Jackson, Engineer Ed Clark and the pastry team at the Grand Hotel. For gingerbread construction and other decorating tips, the culinary team is available for interviews. See contact information below.The entire village is edible except the wood base, train, illumination, model cars and people. Ingredients include gingerbread for the houses, royal icing for snow, couscous for the streets, green coconut for grass, Rice Krispy treats for bushes, Cornflakes for tree foliage, chocolate fondant for the tree truck and branches, candy cane and gum drops for street lights, gelatin sheets for windows, squid ink pasta for wrought iron gates and more. For more information, please visit www.marriottgrand.com.
Would you like to make your own gingerbread house? You’ve got to begin with a grand recipe, especially if you plan to demolish it along with a glass of milk at the end of the season. Here’s how John Jackson, head pastry chef at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club and Spa made the hotel’s signature gingerbread used in the gingerbread hotel now on display in the Grand’s dining room.
Grand Hotel Gingerbread Dough Recipe
• 5 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
• 1/2 cup light corn syrup
• 1/2 cup molasses
• 1-1 1/2 tablespoons warm water
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Whip shortening and sugar until light fluffy. Add light corn syrup and molasses to sugar mixture, slowly, until thoroughly mixed.
Add warm water. You can add dry ingredients to mixer and knead with a dough hook, or transfer wet ingredients to large bowl of dry ingredients and knead for 10 minutes.
Put dough in a large plastic bag for 1 hour to rest. Although it is best when used the same day, the dough will keep for a week at room temperature, or a month in the refrigerator.
Roll dough evenly onto a piece of tin foil (big enough to fit onto a cookie sheet) 1/8-1/4 inch thickness. Use copper cutters to make cottage shapes and peel up unused dough.
Place foil on cookie sheet being careful not to disturb cut pieces, and bake 15-20 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a flat surface.
Once baked, he cottage will last for years if stored in a plastic bag. The recipe makes 2-3 cottages.
Author Tammy Odom