It’s therapeutic. You can’t really blow it. If you drop icing, you put on a snowflake.
-Judy Taylor, gingerbread queen
Meet Judy Taylor. Architect* by day, gingerbread queen by, well, all hours left when it comes to the holiday season!
Judy’s gingerbread houses are works of intricate design, down to the chocolate masonry. Yup. The bricks are edible.
As one of my with love and sugar baking team, Judy’s offerings would put all of the candidates on The Great Canadian Baking Show on their toes. Ask her to whip up a batch of something you need for your book launch and this talented baker delivers a plate of beauties. Tonight the remaining bakers competing for the title of best amateur baker in the country will tackle gingerbread in a special holiday baking episode. I’ll be watching their attempts with the Queen herself.
Here’s Judy with the love and sugar breakdown:
Why do you like making these?
As an architect working on large institutional projects, it can take years to complete a project. Constructing in gingerbread is something a person can take from design to completion in a few days.
What’s the trickiest thing about their assembly?
Being patient! I decorate all the parts and then assemble the house starting with the walls and moving to roofs and then dormers and chimneys. Every time a house collapses under the weight of the roof, I know it is because I did not allow the icing to set.
When did you start doing it?
When my daughter was three, we started making a gingerbread house for our home at Christmas time – she is now in university, so I have been doing this for a while.
Who taught you to bake?
I am one of four girls, and my mom taught us all to bake. She would make pies and we would all have our own piece of dough to make our own creation to give to our Dad when he arrived home from work.
What’s your favourite thing about Xmas?
Spending time with extended family.
If you only were permitted to bake one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Bread. The smell of freshly baked bread can make any house a home.
YUM. Can you just imagine what that bread would look like in Judy’s hands? !!
Good luck to all the bakers on tonight’s show. Here’s hoping your gingerbread creations are as soundly constructed as those by my pal Judy.