Recipes for Gingerbread originated in Europe, starting out as sweet cookies and breads. When made as a cookie, the Gingerbread was stiffer in texture and soon became a food item that was easily deocorated with icing and candied garnishes. Some of the European fairy tales were soon re-created with various Gingerbread designs, most notably the published stories of Hansel and Gretel. As the Gingerbread recipes arrived in the U.S., a variety of different sweet creations evolved, eventually becoming made into Gingerbread Houses as the houses became extensions of various fairy tales, similar to the European traditions. Although a baking mold simplifies the process of building a Gingerbread House, other methods for constructing the houses are also available with numerous design ideas and decorating themes.