Cookies and Breads: The Baker’s Art

Cookies and Breads: The Baker’s Art

Albert Hadener with his gingerbread house

Albert Hadener with his gingerbread house in “Cookies and Breads: The Baker’s Art” at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, November 19, 1965 - January 9, 1966.

Holidays are often associated with cooking and baking, and in 1965, the Museum of Contemporary Crafts of the American Craftsmen’s Council provided a feast of baking for the eyes. “Cookies and Breads: The Baker’s Art” served as an inspiration for innovations in baking as an art in several categories, including gingerbreads.

This fanciful construction was designed and executed by Albert Hadener, the owner of the still-open Elk Candy Company in the German "Yorkville" section of New York City. This masterful gingerbread house is made of fresh gingerbread on a wood construction. The house boasts a starry, white icing roof, a sugar cube chimney, and marzipan cookie decorations. Hansel and Gretel stand in the doorway along with the evil witch. Hadener learned his special skills in Switzerland.

In addition to the exhibition catalog, the book Cookies and Breads was published. Both materials include recipes for four different doughs (three edible, one inedible). Gingerbreads were described in both as: “Dating back to the Middle Ages, these holiday bakings are always spiced, though not necessarily with ginger. Especially popular in central and northern Europe, they were generally made in shapes such as persons, houses, or scenes.”

If you bake for the holidays, may your cookies and breads – especially gingerbreads – come out of the oven beautifully.

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