Over the past few days Jonathan and I have been working on a huge project together. We’ve invested a lot of our time, talent, and math skills into… building the Eiffel Tower out of gingerbread. This was a rather large undertaking (and a bit ambitious for our first foray into the world of gingerbread construction – especially considering our quickly-eroding math skills), but we emerged victorious.
Before construction could begin, of course, we had to go through a rather lengthy planning phase. First there were the good-spirited arguments about what we should build. I wanted to build a simple house. Jonathan, at one point, suggested the Taj Mahal. We eventually settled on Jonathan’s original idea of the Eiffel Tower.
Next, we had to draw a template. Jonathan measured a picture of the tower and made the template to scale. The next day – we stretched the project out over a few days – I made the gingerbread dough; and we cut out all of the pieces and started baking them.
This is where we hit our first (and, to be fair, only major) problem. Jonathan (who does not study engineering, or any of the various disciplines that may have been helpful for this sort of endeavor) did not take into account the fact that the pieces would grow slightly during the baking process. So, the pieces didn’t fit perfectly together like a puzzle (which is what we had planned). Nevertheless, we were able to slowly piece everything together with gobs and gobs of royal icing.
Finally, there was the decorating stage. We weren’t totally sure how to decorate the tower because the real thing doesn’t normally have a lot of Christmas Decorations, or any decorations for that matter. It’s just a wrought-iron structure covered with lights. But, with mini-M&Ms as lights and a few other candies spread about, it turned out pretty good.
Ultimately, we were extremely pleased with our first gingerbread construction efforts and hope to try something even more daring next year.