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Ritz-Carlton Unveils 240-Pound Gingerbread House

Samantha Cohen, lead baker for the Ritz Carlton of Westchester, helped bake and construct a ginger bread house replica of the Kykuit Mansion. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
The gingerbread house weights 240 pounds. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
This is the second year the Ritz Carlton of Westchester had a replica of the kykuit Mansion built. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
(From L to R) Diana Garcia, Samantha Cohen and Jackie Veliz constructed the 240-pound gingerbread house pictured. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A 240-pound gingerbread house replica of the Kykuit Mansion was put on display at the Ritz Carlton of Westchester on Wednesday afternoon.

The replica has 13 different types of candy decorating it and three handmade gum-paste sculptures to match structures on the mansion, which housed four generations of the Rockefeller family in Pocantico Hills and is a Hudson Valley landmark.

The gingerbread house took four days and 150 man hours to sketch, assemble and decorate. It is made of 40 pounds of powdered sugar, 35 pounds of cake flour, 15 pounds of granulated sugar, 10 pounds of brown sugar, 8 pounds of butter, 8 pounds of eggs, 6 pounds of egg whites, 2 pounds of cream of tartar, 2 pounds of molasses, 5 ounces of baking powder, 2 ounces each of ginger and cinnamon, 1 ounce of clove and nutmeg and half-cup of lemon juice.

This is the second year Ritz Carlton chefs constructed the replica gingerbread house. Jackie Veliz, pastry chef, said last year's house was more whimsical, while this year's version built to look more like the actual mansion.

The Ritz Carlton chose the landmark for its gingerbread replica because of its iconic look, said Samantha Cohen, the hotel's lead baker.

"It's very significant, iconic," Cohen said of the Kykuit. "It has a few elements that would translate well to a gingerbread house."

The gingerbread house will remain in the main lobby of the Ritz Carlton through the holiday. Then, Veliz said, they will knock it down.

"That's probably the most fun part," she said.

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