Advent Celebration with Sugar and Spice Cookies and Vanilla Rings

Advent starts this year the first Sunday in December

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Avent marks the beginning of the Christmas season  

On the first day of December, in many Danish homes a Christmas countdown candle is lit and is burned for a little while each day until Christmas Eve. Many families have Christmas calendars with small numbered windows; each morning a window is opened and the children receive small presents or sweets. There are also special television shows with 24 episodes, so the families can watch the story together every night up to Christmas.

It’s dark outside most of the time in December,, and the Danes prefer to stay indoors. Many are making preparations for the Christmas season. They can also be busy visiting the many Christmas markets buying lots Christmas decoration, Christmas presents and Christmas goodies. The first Sunday of December is the first Sunday of Advent, four Sundays before Christmas Eve. Many invite family and friends to bake Christmas cookies, make candy, make decorations for the tree and an Advent Wreath, four candles, one for each of the four Sundays before Christmas Eve..   

Sugar and Spice Cookies (the brown ones)  Brunekager in Danish

makes 100.

2 cups dark syrup,

1 cup (90 grams) brown sugar,

½ cup (4 fl. oz.) butter

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 cup (225 grams) almonds, blanched and skins removed

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. ground cloves

1 lb.(455 grams) flour

To make, bring syrup, sugar and butter to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in baking powder, chopped almonds, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and flour. It may be difficult for all the flour to be absorbed. Wait until the dough has cooled, knead the dough until it has absorbed most of the flour and is not sticky. There may be some flour left over. Refrigerate 1-3 days.

Preheat the oven to 350 °F.

Knead thoroughly on a baking board – use more flour if Sticks. Roll the dough out very thinly, cut into round cookies with a glass or cookie cutteer and place on a greased cookie sheet. Brush with egg White. Bake 5-10 minutes depending on thickness of the cookies.

Vanilla Rings

8 oz. flour

7 oz. butter

5 oz. sugar

1 egg

4 oz. almonds

blanched, skin removed and finely chopped

To make cookies, combine all ingredients  and let dough rest for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Put the dough into a piping bag fitted with 1/2 inch star nozzle. Pipe the dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet, cut the dough into small pieces and form into small rings. Bake until lightly Brown – 3-5 minutes.

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