Destination Recreation: Gingerbread Houses - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Destination Recreation: Gingerbread Houses

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ESSEX, Vt. -

Young carpenters are hard at work at the Essex Resort, and they have some important decorating decisions to make.

"I kind-of just like thought like a border would be nice and maybe if they had some cotton candy for snow," says 8-year-old Ingrid Gilliam.

"He's made out of marshmallows, his eyes are M&Ms, and he's pretty cool," says 6-year-old AJ Flannigan.

Pretty cool indeed. And experts say there are a few tricks to keep your candy-covered house standing.

"Well I think the number one thing is the dough. You don't want to add any water to it. It's a lot sturdier than a gingerbread cookie. So you can kind-of actually build the structure itself," says Essex Resort Executive Chef Shawn Calley. "We just use a basic royal frosting, so it's just egg whites, powdered sugar, and then we use a piping bag, and then it's just getting creative with all the different fun candy."

There's no shortage of creativity in this room. From giant marshmallow snowmen as tall as houses to coconut flake snow-covered roofs and candy cane fences, each decorator's personality comes out in their creations.

Parents we talked to said having all the materials here ready to go for five dollars a child made it a lot easier to participate in the tradition. But with all this candy -- will these houses last through the holidays?

"Probably going to sit at home for a little while and kind-of take our time," says Gilliam, though she added after Christmas, it will probably be gone.

Others may not last that long.

"It's not going to last until tonight, I have to tell you," says Flannigan.

And the classes have been so popular that they're sold out for the year. But Chef Calley says they are planning on bringing it back next year and revamping it to allow more people to participate.

And Chef Calley told us one of the most interesting things he has seen people do with gingerbread houses is melt Jolly Ranchers in the windows for a stained-glass look.

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