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Extreme gingerbread house makeover

Holiday cookie creations get the high art treatment as pastry chefs and architects go pro.

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Dec 4, 2012 5:45PM

We see some pretty sumptuous gingerbread houses during the holiday season, but nothing quite like the structures described by the Associated Press today. Exhibited at various luxury hotels across the country, some of these sweet, homemade stunners are contest entries or creations made to raise money for charity during the holidays. Photo: Bebeto Matthews/APThey’re all fabulously detailed, many requiring the talent of pastry chefs, architects and sometimes even historians.

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For extravagant gingerbread displays, here are four hotels to check out:

In midtown Manhattan, Le Parker Meridien is hosting a collection of landmark replicas, including the Egyptian Sphinx, the Mexican temple Chichen Itza and the Lincoln Memorial.

At the Sheraton Princess Kailuani in Hawaii, global sites such as London’s Tower Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, a pagoda from Yakushiji Temple in the ancient Japanese capital of Nara, and Hawaii's own Iolani Palace are recreated.

In Little Rock, Ark., The Capital Hotel puts a local spin on its cookie creation with an Arkansas countryside theme, including cows, horses, deer, rabbits and ducks along with a barn and an Ozark shack.

For two decades, entrants have been competing for more than $7,500 in cash and prizes with their edible gingerbread creations at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C. This year's 182 entries — including some from teens and children — were judged by a panel that included pastry chefs, cookbook authors and a museum curator.

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Since it’s unlikely that even the most ambitious of home bakers will try to attempt one of these elaborate creations, Susan Matheson, co-author of the book, "The Gingerbread Architect: Recipes and Blueprints for Twelve Classic American Homes," told the AP that there's still a lot to be said for “the rough cut, over-iced, slumped and out of plumb gingerbread house with the candy pieces that slid out of position before the icing dried.”

Photo: Bebeto Matthews/AP

Bing: Easy gingerbread house recipes

Read the full story on MSN Local.

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