Make a Gingerbread House

The little house was built of bread, with a roof made of cake, and windows of transparent sugar. “We will have some of this,” said Hansel. “I will eat a bit of the roof, and you Gretel, can eat some of the window. That will be sweet.” Hansel reached up and broke off a little of the roof to try how it tasted, while Gretel gnawed at the windowpane. Then a soft voice called out from inside: “Nibble, nibble, little mouse, who is nibbling at my house?” (excerpt from “Hansel and Gretel” by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm)

The tradition of making flat, shaped gingerbreads comes from 15th-century Germany and its surrounding lands. The city of Nuremberg was known as “gingerbread capital” of the world. Large pieces of gingerbread (“lebkuchen”) were used to build “Lebkuchenhaeusel” (gingerbread houses), also called “Knusperhaeuschen” (houses for nibbling at).

A homemade gingerbread house makes an impressive centerpiece during the holidays. Building one can also be a fun holiday activity for children. Read more

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