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The Christmas gingerbread man’s got a lot of places he needs to visit before the holidays melt away as quickly as Mauna Kea’s snow. Starting with some sweet gingerbread replicas of several Hawaii landmarks. It’s the only time of year we’ll want to chomp on a Hawaii lighthouse or take a bite out of an old Hawaiian palace. Mmmm, they have never looked more appetizing – a dash of ginger, add the nutmeg, mix in the molasses – and I’d say we’re ready for a Hawaiian Christmas! Hulihee Palace (left) and Mokuaikaua Church (right) in their most sugary forms.
Big Island culinary students at West Hawaii Community College (HawCC) put on their holiday hats and whipped up the gingerbread creations in time for the Dining with the Chefs event this past weekend. For the second year, they auctioned off the edible landmarks for as much as $100 a piece to benefit culinary scholarships and kitchen equipment for the future West Hawaii college campus at Palamanui.
The kitchen carpenters went through a multi-step process in order to build the gingerbread structures; measuring the actual landmark then scaling it down to a miniature version involved a lot of patience and precision. Once cardboard templates were made and transferred to plywood, the students rolled out the dough and traced the plywood pieces. They then added the finishing details and let the oven do the rest.
HawCC student Josh Goodwin makes the Capt. Cook Monument and a Hawaii lighthouse look scrumptious.
The ring of the oven timer was when the fun really begun. About 100 pounds of flour, 20 pounds of brown sugar and 1 1/2 pounds of ground ginger and cinnamon later? Eight Hawaii landmarks – including Hulihee Palace, Mokuaikaua Church and Captain Cook’s Monument – have been brought to life in its tastiest gingerbread form. Each topped off with some pretzels, ice cream cones, noodles and herbs for the grassy areas.
Chef Fernand Guiot of Kailua-Kona’s former French Bakery guided the students along. He’s been baking gingerbread houses for years, including several displays for the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. Last year’s theme for the culinary endeavor was replicas of hale (houses) from Kona Village Resort.
Gingerbread hale rocked the house as last year’s theme for the Christmas event.
As tempting as it may be, the gingerbread landmarks are most likely not eaten. Those who won the items will take advantage of their holiday decor and put them out for display. I’d say the Christmas gingerbread man better hurry up if he wants to visit these places before the Christmas roaches beat him to it!
Photo Credit: Fern Gavelek Communications