In Germany gingerbread (Lebkuchen) is made in two forms: a soft form used for cookies, slices and cake and a harder form, particularly associated with carnivals and street markets such as the Christmas markets (I really miss those markets) that occur in many German towns. The hard gingerbread is used for shapes, which are then further decorated with sweets and icing. The German-style Gingerbread is often used to build Lebkuchen Haeuser similar to the "witch's house" in the German fairy tale Hansel and Gretel. These houses are popular Christmas decorations everywhere in Germany and often built by children with the help of their parents.
This recipe makes one house and gives you a bit extra.
125 g brown sugar
a pinch salt
300 g treacle
1 tablespoon ground ginger
180 g butter, softened
500 g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
2. Beat sugar, salt and treacle, ginger and butter in a large mixer until combined and lighter in colour.
3. Add flour and bicarb soda and whisk until mixture forms a thick dough.
4. Place on lightly floured workbench and flatten with you hands. Press dough into mould.
5. Place mould on baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes or until firm to touch (dough will crisp up once cooled).
6. Cool before removing from mould.
Use royal icing to assemble the house. I am sure your kids will love to help decorating the house with candies and Christmas cookies.