One activity that many people enjoy during the Christmas season is building gingerbread houses. This tradition became popular in Germany during the early 1800’s. Many food historians believe that the well known Grimm Brothers’ tale of Hansel and Gretel helped make the gingerbread house popular. Gingerbread is also used to make delicious cookies to eat or ornaments to decorate Christmas trees!
You can read the original version of the Hansel and Gretel story here:http://www.boblyman.net/engwr302/myth/forest01.htm
For those who would like to try to make their own gingerbread house, here is a great recipe!
½ cup butter
1 cup molasses
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground clover
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan.
In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before serving.