Last year I built a brownstone out of gingerbread and wrote an article about it. I thought that this was going to be a lark, interesting to only the nerdiest of pastry nerds. I was wrong. Images of my little house made their way all around the internet: design sites, craft sites and New York sites. Finally, the house itself made an appearance a movie set (so keep your eyes peeled for it on the big screen next January!) It seems like a lot of folks have a secret love for fanciful gingerbread creations. The unlikely overlap of design, food, craftiness and unabashed New York love struck a chord. Last year my little gingerbread house was something other folks could appreciate through pictures. This year I plan to build something even bigger,  and I want you all to help.

 

The Gingerbread Block Project

This year I am orchestrating the creation of a whole New York street scene, built entirely out of gingerbread, icing and magic. The buildings will be baked, constructed and decorated by a group of volunteer (mostly amateur) bakers. The block will be displayed publicly  in Brooklyn in December and at the end of the month the buildings will be auctioned off to benefit a local food charity that is dear to my heart.

To build a gingerbread project this ambitious, I’m going to need lots of help. Folks who want to help build the gingerbread block can volunteer for a few hours of gingerbread handiwork, and get some first hand gingerbread construction experience while they’re at it. This is not just for pros, everyone can pitch in their special skills (and learn some new ones too.) Volunteers will gather and work together on evenings and weekends to make the gingerbread block come together. The construction will take about 10 days, and will take place at 61 Local in Boerum Hill. After the gingerbread creations have been displayed for the public to marvel at, New York gingerbread fans can place a bid on a house and a few lucky bidders will get to take their gingerbread houses home.

Join In!

Want to be a part of the block project? Fantastic! Here are a few ways you can help:

1. Sign up to be a volunteer baker/decorator. The exact dates and times for volunteers will be announced soon. Right now you can let me know you’re interested, and I’ll keep you in the loop.

2. Take a gingerbread decorating class. Want to make your own gingerbread house?  I’ll be teaching a class or two on gingerbread techniques. A portion of the proceeds from these classes will help offset the material costs of building the gingerbread block.

3. Bid on a finished gingerbread masterpiece! Once we’ve displayed our creations, we’re going to auction them off. If you can make it to Brooklyn to pick up your gingerbread house, you can place a bid! All profits will be donated to a New York based food charity.

4. Help spread the word to other gingerbread-loving New Yorkers. Tweet, post, link–spread the gingerbread love!

Sign up here if you want updates on how and when you can get involved.