By day, James Kukstis makes his living penning stories for Wicked Local, covering the Marshfield beat. In his off hours, however, he swaps his writer’s hat for a brightly colored knit beanie and fires up the oven at his Scituate home to pursue his other passion—baking. Known as Mr. Butterscotch, Kukstis operates a small-but-mighty side hustle, making a variety of custom-decorated cookies (his specialty), cakes and other sweet treats for South Shore customers. During the holiday season, he also hosts gingerbread workshops.
“Growing up, my mother would always have a gingerbread decorating party,” says Kukstis. “Last Christmas I was asked if I could make some gingerbread kits and they were a huge hit.” The workshops are hands-on events, where participants receive a pre-assembled gingerbread house and Kukstis offers simple decorating tricks. These events are a great way to build community and spread holiday cheer. For custom cookies and upcoming event info, follow @mrbutterscotch on Instagram, or visit mrbutterscotchbakes.com.
— Maria Allen
Mr. Butterscotch’s Gingerbread House Tips
1. When assembling your houses, make sure to give them ample time to dry. If the icing holding your walls together hasn’t fully hardened, there’s a good chance the walls will shift or fall apart when you start applying candy.
2. Use things like soup cans, small bottles or boxes to prop up your walls while you assemble.
3. Decorations don’t need to be limited to candy and sprinkles. Think outside the box and use whatever looks good—cereal, nuts, pretzels or even beans—be creative!
4. Remember to have fun. Whatever you end up putting together will be festive and delicious!