How to make a Gingerbread or Hansel and Gretel House
Sorry for the long pause...
Now it is time to prepare a gingerbread house for Hansel and Gretel, the main protagonists of the fairy tale written down by the Grimm brothers. Perhaps there is some truth in the tale, some days ago a witch‘s house house has been discovered near Pendle Hill, even a mummified cat has been found.
Making your own witch house is not as difficult as it may seem, it is extremely rewarding and creating it is a good method to fight the cold and darkness of winter. Your room will smell of the honey cake. As winter goes by, the house will be eaten up. First secretly, then more obviously. It is great fun.
You will need...
- approximately half the amount of dough given in my gingerbread recipe,
▪ chocolate and sweets you want to decorate your house with,
▪ 50 g of marzipan and 30 g of icing sugar for the witch and the kids,
▪ 1 egg white and 175 g icing sugar for gluing and decorating.
I am preparing it in several steps: 1st: preparing the dough and paper models, 2nd: modeling the witch, Hansel, Gretel and baking the dough, 3rd: assembling the house.
You will need something to build your house on.
I am using a tile measuring 30 x 30 cm (12 x 12 inch). It is a solid basement, will survive transportation and is inexpensive.
Then you have to cut out of paperboard the parts of the witch house: gable, walls, roof, a basement on which the house is placed and for visual effect I am also planning a fir tree.
Then you roll out your dough on a baking paper and cut the tree according to your design. Use a spoon to make nice shapes and leave enough space between each branch because the dough gets bigger while baking. Put the fir tree on a baking tray leaving it on the paper you rolled it out.
The other parts of the house don‘t need to be cut before baking. So just roll out the dough big enough so that all pieces can be cut out.
For preparing the witch and Hansel and Gretl…
…knead 30 g of icing sugar into 50 g of marzipan. Make the following pieces: 3 bowls, big, medium, small and the other parts according to the picture.
Set the medium sized globe on the big one (glue with some egg white). With the help of a tooth pick that you press down form a nose, then pick the eyes and the mouth into the smallest globe...
…and we have the head ready.
Actually, the witch is „nicer“ being ugly. The arms: roll a kind of long sausage and put them around the shoulder. Form a cane and place it under one hand. If you think arms are to long (like on the photo) shorten them, it will not hurt. Cut out an apron and fix it on the belly. For the cape roll out the marzipan to an oval form, cut it straight on one longer side
and cover the witch with the coat.
For the head cloth cut out a triangle with one longer and two shorter sides. Place it on the head.
Every witch needs a cat and it is not as difficult as it may seem. Form a roll that is thinner on one side (one third of its length) and thicker on the other.
Push it up in the middle of the thicker part so that it looks like this:
Now you have a cat that is arching it‘s back. Now you form a tiny little globe for the head, fix it with egg whit glue on the body. With a tooth pick you press in for the legs and crosswise for the feet.
The cat is ready! Now place it on the witch‘s shoulder.
In a small cup I mix some drops of egg white with cocoa powder and paint the cape, head cloth and cane.
For Hansel just form a cylinder with a head.
Cut the lower part into two pieces to form the legs. Press against a knife to form the feet.
For Gretl (half the size of Hansel) form a cone with a head on it. Make a small roll and place it on the head. That a the little girls braids. As brother and sister are walking hand in hand make one longer roll for their arms. Put them around their shoulder as if they are holding hands. Paint the braids and Hansel‘s head.
With the left over marzipan form a magic mushroom.
TO BE CONTINUED...