For those who don't know, The Phantom Manor is the name of the
Haunted Mansion attraction at Disneyland Paris.
If you choose to attempt a Phantom manor Cookie House of your own,
I supplied a free PDF template document you can use as cookie patterns.
This project took about 9 hours, not counting the overnight hardening times.
It was not meant to be an EXACT replica of the Phantom Manor.
My time constraints didn't allow for meticulous detailing.
My daughter asked me to create another "gingerbread" haunted house for her birthday party.
I modeled this one after The Phantom Manor. It is actually made of sugar cookie.
This is a description of the process.
First, the 3D geek-work had to be done.
I created a very simple version of the Phantom Manor structure
using my 3D application, Lightwave 9.0.
Then I "unwelded" the polygons, and rotated each surface so it
was flat on "the ground". I made screen captures of these flattened shapes, and brought
them into Photoshop to clean up the lines, and add labels.
I printed the shapes on regular paper, and cut them out, to use as cutting templates.
You can download the PDF templates, including the construction diagram (below),
at the bottom of this page.
Next, I mixed up a batch of royal icing (recipe here), and added black paste food coloring.
Paste colors can be found in many craft supply stores in the baking section. Unlike traditional
liquid food colors, paste colors will not dilute the icing, plus they produce vivid colors.
I also will color the sugar cookie dough with brown paste color, to make it spookier.
Happy yellow sugar cookie wouldn't convey a haunted look!
Using a pastry bag, I drew various lengths of the manor's roof ironwork.
This should be done on waxed paper, but I did on foil.
DON'T DO IT ON FOIL, THEY STICK!
I let the ironwork icing harden overnight.
Just for the record, I am not a baker!
I bought 3 "tubes" of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough (1 lb. each)
and blended them together
with brown paste food coloring. Sugar cookie dough is rather sticky, so I slowly added flour
to the mixture, until the dough could be formed into a ball.
I rolled the dough in an ungreased cookie sheet.
Then I positioned the paper templates on top of the rolled dough, making sure they
were not too close. Using a knife, I cut around the t
emplates, and lightly marked the
window positions. Then removed the extra dough.
DON"T THROW AWAY THE TEMPLATES YET!
You will need to use them as a trimming guide after the cookies are baked.
I ignored the baking direction, and let my cookies bake for about 15 minutes, in order to
make them hard. After removing the cookies from the oven, and letting them cool for a minute,
I layed the paper templates over the soft cookies, and using a knife, removed, and straightened
the edges, which had expanded, and deformed slightly. I let them cool and harden before
removing them from the sheet, and placed them on a cooling rack.
I mixed a batch of black, purple, and dark green royal icing to use as glue, and to decorate.
Using black, and purple icing, I drew the windows, and any other elements which would
be difficult to create after the wall were up
t as when you build a house of cards, the first two walls are the most important.
I applied icing glue along lines I drew on the base indicating the positions of the walls. I glued
down the first wall, applied icing to one of the edges, and leaned it slightly against the second wall, forming a corner. After a few moments of holding my breath, I attached the other walls.
The porch is supported by sugar wafers. Any unforseen holes or gaps are filled with icing.
The mansard roof was very tricky, but with the help of a supporting graham cracker box,
and allowing for a long hardening time, it proved to be very resilient. Yes, one side broke while removing it from the pan. The royal icing is great for repairs!
Cut pretzel rods support the porches, and cut graham crackers were used for the side porch.
The other elements came together with few problems. Now it is time to add the decorative icing,
and candies. This is the part I enjoy.
I used a sawtooth nib on my pastry bag, and created simple shingles, using purple icing.
I added the hardened icing ironwork to the roof. The dormer windows are cut licorice candies
(I hate the way they taste, but they looked good). The chimneys are sugar wafers.
Candy pumpkins (with faces drawn on by my daughter), and a sprinkling of autumn leaf candy sprinkles add the Halloween touch.
I covered the surrounding base with the dreary green icing, and dotted it with chocolate stones,
and more candy leaves. In the rear there is a small cemetery, with cookie tombstones.
In the end, nobody had the heart to try to eat it, even though that was the idea!
So we donated it to my daughter's school, and it was raffled off at their Halloween Ball to
help raise money for the school.
Et Voila! Le manoir fantôme est complet ! Elle est magnifique, non ?