“The White House in Gingerbread,” by Roland Mesnier

“The White House in Gingerbread: Memories and Recipes”
By Roland Mesnier and Mark Ramsdell
208 pp., White House Historical Association

In his cookbook / memoir, White House executive pastry chef Roland Mesnier tells the story behind each of the holiday gingerbread houses he created for display in the White House’s State Dining Room during the years he served at the pleasure of five presidents.

With co-author Mark Ramsdell, Chef Mesnier provides step-by-step instructions and templates for constructing and decorating a gingerbread house at home.

“During the holidays, thousands of White House guests are served freshly made cookies and desserts at buffet events and private receptions,” explains Mesnier, who shares more than 30 of his favorite holiday recipes in the book.

These include — cookies (coconut chocolate squares and linzer stars and trees), holiday recipes (buche de Noel, fruit cake, and egg nog), cakes (soufflés such orange sabayon, spice cake, gingerbread soufflé), as well as meringues, mousses, and fillings. Learn more here.