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Hugs and holiday wishes to Y&H’s virtual pal, Obama Foodorama (can you hug a virtual pal?), for alerting me to this year’s White House gingerbread house. It is a thing of beauty.

ObFo’s Eddie Gehman Kohan notes that White House executive pastry chef Bill Yosses has put together the largest gingerbread house in Oval Office history:

It was made with honey from the White House Bee Hive, and features a marzipan replica of the Kitchen Garden, a mini Bo, and a shadow box view of the State Dining Room.

In his blog, Yosses explains the pains he and his staff went through to produce the annual White House confection:

Each year, the White House Pastry Team comes together with other members of the White House staff to work on a favorite holiday tradition: The White House Gingerbread House. Because this project requires so much space, the gingerbread house is usually assembled in the China Room of the Residence instead of the pastry shop. Everyone from White House carpenters to plumbers to electricians lend their expertise to help make this project a success.

Weeks were spent planning out the details, studying James Hoban’s original architectural designs and blueprints, gathering ingredients and creating a time line.

And then the real work begins. More than 150 pounds of gingerbread dough is made and this year the recipe called for White House Honey! After baking the gingerbread, it is cut into pieces that become the house’s foundation. The gingerbread is so thick that a band-saw is used to create the bricks for the gingerbread replica. More than 250 lbs of white chocolate is then used for everything from the adhesive to the decorative elements. The white chocolate provides the flexibility needed to create details like the rosettes and the banisters, the windows and the wreaths.