Our Independence Day (Dec. 6th) really opens the Holiday season around here, and in my family it really is sort of little Christmas (or a rehearse if you may). We gather together for a
feast meal, and table is always full of wonderful, Christmassy delicacy. I was in charge of the dessert this year (although my very talented brother-in-law made the most delicious macarons too, my first ever!), and I opted for very, very traditional Finnish things, torttu and pipari. Torttu is a pastry (made mostly from butter *ahem*) with a prune jam filling. You can make the dough yourself or go for a ready-made as I always do as it's tasty and easy. Here's a little how-to, it's not that difficult:
And then pipari! Pipari = a gingerbread man/woman/hattifattener/pig/heart/star any shape or size you wish. There were quite a few years that we didn't eat that much of them, but my nephew loves them and with him we've really discovered them again. Years ago I used to make gingerbread-Christmas-trees for my colleagues in work, the idea for it is from my favorite Christmas-book Christmas Time by Mads Moe:
We (me and my sister) have even purchased a special star cutter-set just to make these trees (we have a joint custody), but you could make and use paper/cardboard molds too.
...and then you can get totally crazy with anything you wish! I usually use different sweets, some frosting and melted sugar (hot! be careful with it!) to keep it all together...
And you'll end up most wonderful (yet a bit wonky sometimes like mine here!) and unique gingerbread-tree, which my nephew absolutely loved. I can highly recommend making these trees with your favorite sweets "just because" - and it's just wonderful not to save them "for some day" but just to nibble bits here and there... Hello Holiday-Spirit!