Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Burlington's 1st Annual Gingerbread House Making Contest

It’s time to preheat the oven, gather your creativity and supplies and enter the 1st Annual Gingerbread House Making Contest sponsored by the Historic Burlington Business Association!

As part of the 2009 A Historic Burlington Christmas celebration, we are inviting people to register and participate in this exciting contest held on December 4th and 5th.

First Prize
The First Prize winner of the HISTORIC BURLINGTON BUILDING category will win a one-night stay at Burlington's Willis Graves Bed and Breakfast Inn (valid Sunday-Thursday, excluding all holidays) and the First Prize winner of the UNUSUAL DESIGN category will win a $50 gift certificate for dinner at The Tousey House. All ages are welcome to participate, but houses in these categories are required to be made from SCRATCH: photos will be required to prove that they are made from scratch with the person MAKING the house in the photos.

Children's Contest
The third contest is a children's contest. Children 14 and under will be allowed to use Gingerbread Kits. Children’s entries are to be dropped off at Burlington Elementary from 4 to 7 pm on Friday, December 4, 2009. Judging will take place Friday at 7:30 pm at the school. Houses will be on display until NOON on Saturday December 5.

All houses in the historic replication and unusual design categories will need to be delivered to the Old Court House on Friday, December 4th, from 1:00 - 3:00pm to qualify. Gingerbread Houses will be located in the lobby of the Old Court House located at 2988 Washington Square (corner of Rt. 18/Burlington Pike and Rt. 338) in the center of historic downtown Burlington. Judging will take place at NOON on Saturday, December 5th!
For the children's contest deadline and judging information, please see the previous section.

How to Enter
To register to participate in Burlington’s 1st Annual Gingerbread House Making Contest, call Nancy Swartzel at 859-689-5096.

Contest Rules/Details
ALL HOUSES ARE TO BE MADE FROM SCRATCH IN THE HISTORIC BUILDING REPLICATION AND UNUSUAL DESIGN CATEGORIES OPEN TO ALL AGES. KITS MAY ONLY BE USED IN THE CHILDREN’S KIT CATEGORY FOR AGES 12 AND UNDER. For all participants in all three categories, photos will need to be taken during the process of making of the Gingerbread House, with the person making the house in the photos to qualify.

The slideshow below includes Burlington's historic buildings that can be reproduced as a gingerbread houses for the contest. You can also click here to see pictures with the corresponding house name. The buildings include: Burlington Methodist Church 1837, Boone County Clerks Office 1853, Willis Graves House c 1830, Robert Chambers House 1832-35, Central House Hotel c 1840, Boone County Deposit Bank 1925, Hogan Log House c 1860, Renaker House c 1830, Senator S Walker Tolin House c 1887, McKim-Crisler House c 1849 c 1897, Latimer-Walden House c 1867, Boone County Recorder Office 1939, Peoples Deposit Bank 1905, Joseph Graves House c 1817, Stephens-Yelton House c 1884, Erastus Tousey House c 1822, James Runyan House c 1840, Burlington Presbyterian Church 1833, and the Foster-Sandford House c 1831.

Need inspiration on how to make a gingerbread house from scratch? Martha Stewart is a valuable resource. Her book, Martha Stewart‘s Christmas Entertaining, Decorating, and Giving (1989), provides details and step-by-step instructions.

You can also visit her website to download templates, click here to see gingerbread information on

Martha's Gingerbread Recipe
This recipe is from the Martha Stewart Show (December 2005), adapted from "Martha Stewart Living" (December 1995).

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup dark-brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unsulfured molasses
6 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt. Beat in eggs and molasses.

Add flour mixture; mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Divide dough into thirds and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes, or using template instructions, if desired. Place dough shapes on ungreased baking sheets; chill until firm, about 15 minutes. Bake 15 minutes, or until gingerbread is firm in the center, but not dark around the edges.

Good luck!

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