I often wonder if Christmas is magical when you’re a child, or if it’s magical, or you want to make it magical, as a parent. This is how I magically want to make them for my little F., who was the reason for the cutest and sweetest Christmas calendar. Also known as an advent calendar.
WHAT IS THE ADVENT CALENDAR?
The Advent calendar is a custom of the Northern peoples, mainly the Germans, and refers to a 30-day month with the last day on December 25th, Christmas Day, or to a period of 24 days from December 1st to 24th.
The Advent calendar is either a large jar of alexandrias or a large decorated open gift box. In both cases, 30 or 24 (depending on the type of calendar) small numbered gifts hang from the jar or box, which reinforce the children’s anticipation of the coming of Christmas every day.
Each of these wrapped, numbered gifts is opened each morning until the festive atmosphere culminates on Christmas Eve and in the days that follow. My calendar has no boxes, but consists of houses. Houses made of cookies which can either be the sweets themselves, or you can hide whatever you want inside them.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE RECIPE
It will seem funny to tell you that the recipe is not difficult. No, it’s not difficult, but it’s very, very time-consuming. My Advent calendar took three days. Within three days, I’ll include his photo shoot too!
On the first day I prepared the dough. After first kneading it well with the help of the mixer, I divided it into three equal parts, and then placed it in the refrigerator for a night.
On the second day I worked on the creation of the houses. I rolled out the dough, cut it into the desired sizes and shapes, and then baked them.
On the third and final day, I started building the houses. I made the royal glaze with the help of the mixer and then finally started assembling and decorating them.
HOW TO MAKE THE HOUSES?
If you search the internet you will find a lot of patterns for gingerbread houses, small or large. I used the designs from a specific site, you may find it here. At the end of the recipe you will find the patterns.
Keep in mind that for each house you will have to cut the corresponding pieces twice. That is, each house needs six pieces of a pattern. My recipes makes about 10 houses. But there was some dough left over, which I just made into simple cookies.
WHAT EQUIPMENT WILL I NEED?
You may think that we need special equipment for the gingerbread advent calendar, but this is not true. So in terms of equipment, you will need the following:
- scissors – to cut the pattern from the houses
- sharp knife – to cut the dough to the desired patterns
- pastry bag or cornet – to assemble houses, but also to decorate them
HOW TO DECORATE THE HOUSES?
In the decoration of houses there are no rules. Let your imagination guide you. You may add candies or colored truffles. You can also paint a small amount of the royal icing to make different designs, such as a tree.
THE INGREDIENTS OF THE RECIPE
So if you want to make this unique gingerbread Advent calendar, then all you have to do is get the following:
- granulated and brown sugar
- cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt
I nearly forgot! From your list, don’t forget to add powdered sugar and candies. You will need the powdered sugar for the royal frosting, while the candies for the glazes.
Gingerbread Advent calendar
- 350 gr shortening, room temperature
- 150 gr granulated sugar
- 100 gr brown sugar
- 3 eggs, large
- 220 gr molasses
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 ¼ tbsp ground ginger
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 850 gr all-purpose flour
- 10-5 candies
For the royal icing
- 3 egg whites
- 600 gr powdered sugar
- Beat the shortening in the bowl of the mixer and then add the sugar. Beat for 5 minutes or until fluffy.350 gr shortening, room temperature, 150 gr granulated sugar, 100 gr brown sugar
- Add the eggs one by one to the mixer bowl and then the molasses. Beat for another 3-4 minutes.3 eggs, large, 220 gr molasses
- Then add the baking soda, the spices and salt to the mixture.1 tbsp ground cinnamon, 1 ¼ tbsp ground ginger, 1 ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt
- Finally add the flour and mix it by hand until well mixed.850 gr all-purpose flour
- Divide the mixture into two equal parts, wrap with a bee wax and leave in the fridge for an hour.
- With the help of a pestle, beat the candies until they become powder.10-5 candies
- Roll out the dough using more flour, in between two sheets of parchment paper. Make a sheet of dough about 2-3 cm thick. Cut out the shapes by using the pattern for the houses.
- Transfer the pieces to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 11 minutes. Five minutes before taking them out of the oven, add the candies. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
For the royal icing
- Beat the egg whites, but before they turn stiff, add the sugar. Continue beating until glossy stiff peaks form.3 egg whites, 600 gr powdered sugar
For the houses
- By using the royal icing glue the pieces of the houses together. Set aside the houses to dry and then decoreate them with the remaining royal icing.
So this was my first attempt to get into the Christmas spirit. With a gingerbread Advent calendar waiting for you to mine day by day until you reach Christmas Day! But can I tell you something? I don’t know if I can eat it, love it too much!
I would be thrilled to hear from you. Even more, if you make my recipe and post a photo of it. Just don’t forget to share your photo under the hashtag #tetisflakes. Please do not hesitate to comment below or contact me on Instagram, or Facebook or Twitter!
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