A new twist on a winter tradition | AspenTimes.com

A new twist on a winter tradition

The product of 75 pounds of cookie dough, 175 pounds of sugar, 60 hours of labor, a pastry chef's creativity and a whole lot of glitter will be on display this afternoon at the St. Regis Resort's gingerbread unveiling and workshop.

The event started in 2012 as a hotel family tradition, St. Regis marketing and sales coordinator Meredith Schurch said.

"The St. Regis tries to create unique experiences for families to enjoy together," Schurch said. "Especially around the holidays."

Last year's gingerbread unveiling attracted between 250 and 300 locals and hotel guests alike, Schurch said.

"We try to draw the community in and emphasize that it is a community event," she said.

This year, St. Regis pastry chef Christine Clancy took a unique approach to the traditional gingerbread house.

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Rather than sticking with gingerbread, Clancy used homemade sugar cookie dough to create what she considers more of an ice castle-type structure.

Clancy, who moved to the area in February, said Aspen was her inspiration in designing the edible winter wonderland.

"This is my idea of Aspen… white, elegant, magical," Clancy said.

The St. Regis will unveil Clancy's gingerbread-house-meets-Aspen-inspired ice castle at 4 p.m. this afternoon.

"Kids will just stand there and marvel over the gingerbread house," Schurch said.

The event also features a design workshop for children to create their own gingerbread houses at $30 per house.

"Christine will be there to guide the kids and show them how to make their houses fancy like hers," Schurch said, using assorted candies like M&MS, peppermints, Red Hots, gumdrops and buttercream icing.

But Schurch said the event isn't just for children and families. "It's great for couples, as well, getting to build the gingerbread houses together," she said.

Also new this season, the St. Regis has added a decadent selection of homemade hot chocolate to its menu, with flavors like salted caramel, dark chocolate with marshmallows and white chocolate peppermint.

"It's the best hot chocolate I've ever had," Schurch said.

She added that adults may give the holiday beverage a grown up twist with a shot of Baileys or Butterscotch Schnapps.

erobbie@aspentimes.com