We've seen a few creative takes on Santa's sleigh over the years, but this one takes the cake—literally. Pastry chefs at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain hotel in Arizona went over the top this holiday season with a legit gingerbread Jeep Wrangler.
The four-wheeler is part of the hotel’s “Off-Roading in the Enchanted Sonoran Desert” holiday exhibition, but it isn’t made completely of sugar and spice and everything nice. It’s actually 500 pounds of candy and 1,000 gingerbread tiles arranged on top of a real Jeep Wrangler. The candy facade also includes frosting, chocolate, and holiday candy decorations. In a move that almost certainly does nothing to improve traction, the Wrangler's tires have been covered in candy cane-colored fondant. The arrangement took the pastry chefs 250 hours to complete and sits in a desert landscape with candy and fondant cacti.
Ritz-Carlton pastry chefs across the country have a tradition of constructing elaborate holiday decorations. The Naples, Florida property, for example, has been known to build a giant gingerbread house to celebrate the season. Their creations can grow to massive proportions, sometimes involving literal tonnage of candy and baked goods. The 2016 holiday gingerbread house was constructed using 100,000 pieces of candy, 2,000 pounds of gingerbread, and took over 600 hours of work from a team of pastry chefs.
Though the Dove Mountain Ritz-Carlton’s Jeep wasn’t made completely of baked goods, the pastry team managed to squeeze in at least one gingerbread house. Ranger Ainsley, the hotel’s yellow Labrador/official lobby greeter, was given his very own gingerbread doghouse for the holiday season.
h/t: Tucson Foodie
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