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PHOENIX -- It's a sweet sight to behold: The Valley's largest gingerbread masterpiece is now on display at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

"Each year, it's gotten bigger and bigger and bigger," said Head Pastry Chef Joshua Cain. "I wanted to take the display in a new direction. Everyone thought I was crazy for wanting to do life-sized, but once I showed them the process, everyone was on board."

After three months of planning and with the assistance of 16 pastry cooks, the resort is filled with the tantalizing smell of gingerbread.

"Just seeing the kids' faces when they come in is amazing," said Cain.

The sweet display features 13 four-feet by six-feet gingerbread houses plus a clock tower in Santa's Christmas Village, including elves wrapping presents for those who have been good this year.

The 1,500-square-foot display was made using 4,000 pounds of gingerbread cookie dough, 3,240 gingerbread bricks used to frame and shingle the roofs of the gingerbread houses, 2,000 pounds of icing and 750 pounds of sugar.

Santa's elves will make appearances at the Santa's Christmas Village display at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort while it is open to the public through Dec. 28 in the resort's grand lobby, The resort is located at 5350 E. Marriott Drive in Phoenix.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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