Who doesn’t know Hansel & Gretel? Think Dirndls, Lederhosen, Scharz Wald.
Engelbert Humperdinck’s lullaby from Hansel & Gretel, a heavenly Met version, pretty grown-up (yup, an ad).
Now, Kinderlein tanz!
Ours is a Hexenhaus indeed, from my old Best of German Cooking, HPBooks, 1984. The pattern, 73 pieces, came from our neighbor on Guam, 1986. Many years have found one sitting around since then, protected until New Year’s Day, then gobbled up. Here’s how it happens, helps to make it in stages, about 10 hours of work!
- Dough- is made and rests for a day, as many of the German spice cookie recipes do.
- Roll, and cut/carve/embellish the walls, base, mailbox, roof, welcome mat, doors, window frames, shutters, chimneys, balcony, woodpile, um…etc.!
- Baking is a little tricky since bigger pieces are slower and small ones can scorch.
- Assembly means there had to be a special trip for candy to decorate!
- Frosting with royal icing (sorry, yes, raw egg white) has two tones: the construction brown that is supposed to disappear and the snow white, a happy blizzard. This reminds me of the crunch and squeak of walking in cold snow drifts, Heidelberg when I was small, then Nürnberg in high school.
- The snow drifts happen, some careful icicles that often blob down.
- Magic! This is the decoration, candy, little people, sometimes a little light inside, or things that aren’t found till New Year’s! Maybe next year I can show the balcony on the back, the ice skaters and the angel orchestra on the roof.
Happy winter everybody, let me know if you don’t have a favorite recipe of your own and and to try this one.