Penfield family’s candy creation hits it out of the park - Catholic Courier
A replica of a baseball stadium is made out of candies and cookies.

The Hickey family of St. Joseph Church in Penfield used cookies and candies to re-create Innovative Field for their entry in the 2023 Sweet Creation’s Gingerbread Display at Rochester’s George Eastman Museum. (Photo courtesy of Molly Hickey)

Penfield family’s candy creation hits it out of the park

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PENFIELD — Baseball season may be over, but the Hickey family is hoping to hit a home run of sorts. A sweet one at that.

For the past four years, Molly Hickey and her family, who are parishioners of St. Joseph Church in Penfield, have participated in the George Eastman Museum’s Sweet Creations Gingerbread Display. During the months of November and December, dozens of gingerbread houses fill the mansion and museum located on East Avenue in Rochester. Anyone can participate in making a gingerbread house, from families, Girl Scout troops and community organizations to professional bakers and decorators. During the display’s run, visitors are invited to bid on the houses, which are auctioned off to benefit the George Eastman Museum.

“We have always gone to the show at the George Eastman House with my mom, and I remember just looking at them (the gingerbread houses) and being like, ‘I’d love to do one,’” Hickey explained of how her family got involved. “It’s fun to do, and it’s fun to go look at.”

Family chooses favorite places for gingerbread creation

There’s a lot of thought put into the Hickeys’ creation. This year, the family chose to recreate Innovative Field, formerly known as Frontier Field, home of Rochester’s Minor League Baseball team, the Rochester Red Wings.

“So all year we think about it (what we are going to create), and we were at a Red Wings game this summer, and we said, ‘Hey, this would work!’ So far, we have picked places we like to go,” said Hickey, noting that the family’s previous gingerbread creations were Stone Tolan House in Brighton, Gentles Farm Market in Penfield and Indian Landing Elementary School, also in Penfield, where Hickey’s 6-year-old daughter, Anna, is a student.

Creativity involved in choosing the materials

Once the family determines what will be created, the next step is getting the supplies. Hickey usually comes up with a loose plan on the materials to be used but said that Anna and her 4-year-old brother, Luke, also are involved in deciding what candies and food items to use in the production.

“They are very creative,” she said.

The Hickeys’ re-creation of Innovative Field consists mostly of vanilla wafers, M&Ms, gummy bears, Twizzlers, Kit-Kats, frosting and food coloring. Ironically, gingerbread is not in the Hickeys’ creation this year. Hickey said the George Eastman Museum’s rules are pretty simple, noting that a combination of both edible and non-edible products can be used.

Kids and adults work together to decorate creation

Once they loaded up on their materials, Hickey, Anna and Luke, along with their neighbors, 8-year-old Kaja Seaman and 5-year-old Korrine Seaman, got started working on the baseball stadium Nov. 3. While Hickey coordinated the efforts, the kids each participated, whether it was placing green M&Ms onto the field or searching through their Halloween candy to find something white to serve as the bases. Within a few hours, the baseball stadium was complete.

The final step was transporting the creation to the George Eastman Museum, which is always the tricky part, Hickey admitted, mentioning that her mom usually drives with her to drop off the creation.

With their 2023 creation complete, the Hickeys plan to visit the George Eastman Museum to see their Innovative Field on display. They also are looking ahead to 2024.

“We have a list (of the ideas),” Hickey said, smiling.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Hickeys and their gingerbread creation are featured in the Catholic Courier’s multimedia Advent calendar at The Sweet Creations Gingerbread Display at the George Eastman Museum runs through Dec. 31. For more information, visit

Tags: Monroe County East
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