What better way to give back during the holiday season than by giving the gift of gingerbread? The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis has teamed up with Ronald McDonald House Charities to sell gingerbread cookies to benefit the organization.
The giant cookies, which sell for $25, are on sale through Christmas. There are three Ronald McDonald House in the St. Louis area: on the campus of Mercy Hospital St. Louis in Creve Coeur; one near SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center; and one near St. Louis Children's Hospital in the Central West End.
The Ritz will personalize the cookies as well.
The cookies are available in the Ritz-Carlton lobby. This year's holiday display features gingerbread men and women, a village and an 8-foot gingerbread replica of the Gateway Arch.
The creation of the gingerbread Arch involved a small army of chefs and the creative planning of a "cookie engineer." Executive Chef Melissa Lee said the Arch took meticulous planning. There are six different shaped pieces in the Arch. The various parts were created to fit the specifics of a mold.
"Jeffrey Matthews in Charleston designed and built the Arch mold for us," Lee said. "We then built the structure here."
The Arch features gingerbread men and women climbing up and down the structure.
The creation of the Arch and its surrounding village took 50 pounds of gingerbread, 40 pounds of icing and seven people over 320 man hours.
The Arch stands over a gingerbread village which includes houses, shops and an ice rink in the lobby of the hotel.
To purchase cookies or see the display, visit the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton. Cookies are available throughout the holiday season.