The Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

Today, I made my first gingerbread house!   As Florida is Trader Joe’s deprived, I always make it a point, to stop at Trader Joe’s, when we trek around the country; on our most recent trip, among my other purchases, was a gingerbread house kit, from Germany. 

I have often purchased gingerbread kits as gifts, but have never made one myself, though I am a big gingerbread men maker. 

As I opened this kit, I was very tempted to at least break off a piece of the building, or forgo the tree, as it smelled divine.  It occurred to me, that I was being faithful to the entire notion of the gingerbread house, which is built to be nibbled at – inspired by the Grimm’s brother’s fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel.  

The Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Hous Kit

Ginger came to Europe through the crusaders, pilgrims, and tradesmen who traveled east and encountered this amazing root, which aided in the preservation of foods, had medicinal quality, and an incredibly exotic flavor.   It was candied, used in savories, and of course turned into cookies and cakes.   

For years, the finest ginger cakes, came from Nuremberg, Germany were only professionally recognized guild members were allowed to bake gingerbread.  This ensured the quality of the product, and limited competition; creating such a fine product that it could actually be used as a currency.  At Easter and Christmas, however, the rules were relaxed and everyone was permitted to make gingerbread.  Depending on where one might eat their gingerbread, there were variation on taste, texture, and appearances; and the delicacy became associated with special occasions – like Christmas! 

Mix powdered sugar with one egg white, and a few drops of lemon juice.

I added my own tip to the pipping bag.

The easiest way I know to load icing into a pipping bag is by placing the bag, tip side down, over a tall glass.

Construction begins with placing some icing in the holes, where the front and bag of the house will be.

The sides and the Christmas tree are in place, and let to rest for about thirty minutes, until the icing is hard.

Finished product!

A back and side view

This was fun and easy to make, and I encourage you to give it a try.

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