They’re building houses—and adding “curb appeal” touches like gumdrops on the roofs.
Obviously their building material isn’t wood or concrete.
It’s gingerbread. Without wheat!
Sisters Christine Penney and Sandy Federico, owners of Something Sweet Without Wheat, are, for the first time this year, baking and selling wheat-free gingerbread houses at their bakery here in Woburn.
Penney developed the recipe last year, she told Woburn Patch Thursday, when her son asked her for wheatless gingerbread cookies and bread. They got some calls for their special gingerbread houses last year, the sisters said, too late to make and sell.
They’re making them this year. First they make the gingerbread walls and roof. Then they assemble the houses. Some of the houses they hand-decorate. The decorations are also wheat-free.
“We know what has wheat in it,” Penney said. Even licorice has wheat in it, she said.
The sisters decorate all the houses differently, “so everybody gets a unique one,” Penney said as they demonstrated their personal decorating styles. Penney arranged gumdrops on the roof of her house; Federico placed ring-shaped candies on hers.
They also sell gingerbread houses undecorated, with a supply of add-ons that are wheat-free.
So far this holiday season the bakery has sold about 50 of its special holiday houses, according to Penney and Federico. A school in Needham ordered eight, they said, because students there are sensitive to wheat.
The sisters began their business because their own families faced the problem of finding sweets without wheat that tasted good. They started to bake in Federico’s home kitchen. They expanded this past spring into their current space, on Sixth Road off New Boston Street.
Market Basket and more than a dozen other food stores, large and small, sell some of their products; they’re working to get shelf space in other food stores and eateries as well.
Penney and Federico seem to have passed their baking gene on to their daughters. The girls make platters of cookies, their proud moms said, for Christmas Eve—of course, without wheat.
A fully-built and decorated wheat-free gingerbread house is $45; an assembled but undecorated house, with decorative add-ons, is $35. Houses must be picked up by Thursday, Dec. 22, at 5 p.m. 781-281-2003.