Lucky little Patrick Poupart, his mother was a baker. Every Christmas, Louise Poupart built an edible house out of gingerbread planks, gum drops, 20091216-living-0101.jpgcandy canes and sugar snow. That family tradition has spun into a holiday speciality at the little French bakery in Lafayette, where candy-covered gingerbread houses and icing-laced gingerbread Christmas trees stack the shelves.

Louise was the primary builder and decorator of the gingerbread houses. Her untimely death several years ago put son Patrick in charge. He makes the spicy dough, filled with brown sugar and pungent ginger, rolls it out, and cuts it with special molds for the walls and steep roofs. The building components are baked crisp, allowed to dry a bit for added strength, and then they go to the decorating room, where confectioner Kathy Frost makes her sweet magic. She has so many different designs that Poupart Bakery looks a bit like a Traditional Neighborhood Development right now.

Roof tiles can be made of anything from pink macaroons to rainbow-colored Twizzlers. Glace royale icicles drip from the eves. From the chocolate ganache front door to the candy cane picket fence, the M&M-paved pebble walk and the green icing wreath over the windows, the house will be a delight, both as a table centerpiece, and a sweet fascination for your own household’s Hansel and Gretel for days and days.

Call Poupart Bakery, 232-7921, www.poupartsbakery.com, to order; houses are $32, trees $18.59.

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