Trader Joe’s Gingerbread House Kit Hexen Haus with candy and cookie decorations. This is something that I’ve been wanting to do for years and just haven’t pulled the trigger on it until this year! I think this is another reason that people love Trader Joe’s is that you can find goofy things like Gingerbread House Kits from Germany(!). I have no idea if these are authentic. I did live in Germany for three years many moons ago when I was in my early 20’s, but I have say I was more interested in girls and drinking as much beer as possible and less worried about gingerbread houses!
The Gingerbread House Kit comes in a funky looking triangular shaped box, but there is a reason for this! A square box would waste a lot of space and plus it’s pretty darn eye catching! Those crafty Germans. This is an almost complete kit in itself, but you will need a couple of things. I suggest you get a base to put it on so you can move it around after you finish it. Otherwise there would be sticky frosting all over the place. Get a cutting board like I did and it makes it much easier to place it somewhere else in the house.
The next thing you will need is an egg white, some lemon juice and a piping bag. This is for the frosting. Make sure you have a small opening on the tip. It’s also nice if you have some other fancy tips to give the frosting some interesting shapes. Whip up and egg white until it’s stiff then fold in the sugar and a few drops of lemon juice (to make the frosting sticky, Trader Joe’s tells us) until you have a frosting. I suppose you could add vanilla if you want to eat it, but this is for decoration. Load it into the piping bag and start assembly.
When I opened up the wrapping around the gingerbread house parts, I could really tell it was gingerbread because it smelled so good and the gingerbread is kind of soft like you could really eat this stuff right now, but I resisted! The hardest part of this whole thing is getting the two end pieces of the house to stand up. The pieces were a little uneven and that makes it harder for things to go together. You might need an extra pair of hands to get this done. I’m sure the kids would help out. Hey, stop eating the frosty! Once you pipe in the frosting into the holes at the base, stand the ends up and then try and put the roof sides on. Make sure you get plenty of frosting on the top sides of the end pieces that will hold the roof part because this will act as the glue to hold it all together. On the instructions they tell you to wait for 30 minutes while this all sets up before you got to the next part, decorating!
30 minutes and a cup of tea later, I tackled the decorating part. I’m not much of a cake decorator. Ask my wife, I’m a cook not a chef. I am not very creative when it comes to new food ideas and decorating. Clearly a feminine trait for the most part, but I think I can look at the picture on the box and figure out the basics without going crazy. So I decided to make it as closely as I could to the picture on the box.
One thing I will say right up front is that they give you way to many sprinkles to decorate the snow with and not enough M&M and gummi type candies. I would have extra decorating stuff on hand. The little people are really cool and I can’t figure out how a machine could make those, but those Germans are a crafty lot!
Once I got the base of the house together, I didn’t like the gap in the roof between the sides, so I filled it in with icing and then sprinkled the little beads on top. Next I put the tree in the base. I had a hard time keeping it from falling over so I jammed a M&M thingy in the base to keep it from falling over. The rest went pretty easy. I piped on a ton of icing and started putting the people in place and attaching the decorations. I think in all it took about an hour but half that time was waiting for things to set up in the beginning.
I think this is a great project to do with the kids and it’s something you can decorate anyway you want. Trader Joe’s makes it easy to put together. It’s not too fancy
I am going to rate this Trader Joe’s Gingerbread House Kit 8 Bells! Merry Christmas! but it’s a fun little project. My only gripe would be that that slabs of gingerbread are a little uneven and hard to put together but with enough icing it should stick.