Monday, 29 November 2010

Happy first Advent- and how to make an Advents-wreath

                    I am a little late, I know,but I wanted to wish you all a wonderful first Advent.
I have my wreath ready and have lit the first candle- as you can see here at the top, so all is well with the world, and I thought to show you how to whizz up a quick and simple advents-wreath.
I wanted to keep it rustic so have baked and iced some biscuits to hang from the wreath as decoration- the recipe is at the bottom of this post. It's mainly butter, sugar, eggs and flour and some icing sugar - see the ingredients here below.
After you have made the dough ( accordig to the recipe that will follow), roll out the whole thing with a rolling pin and cut out the biscuits with a start-shaped cookie cutter.
                                                          Here you see the biscuits cut out .
Then bake according to the recipe at the bottom of this page and cool on a metal grid as below.
After the biscuits are cooled down,  ice them ,  put a small whole through them , and thread some string through , so you can hang them up as here below.This is also a very inexpensive way to decorate your Christmas tree, by the way.

The rest of the biscuits can be displayed on a dish with other Christmassy things like gilded walnuts, clementines and candy-canes so the smaller and bigger members of the family have something to nibble at, in the time leading up to Christmas .In Germany, this tradition is called " Bunte Teller"( colourful plates) because of all the colours .

You are now ready to start your wreath. If you have a garden with evergreen trees, cut some evergreen branches from one of your trees.If you don't , see if you can get some from a nearby forest or from nature- don't take too much, though- you don't want to leave behind a very bare tree as that is not very nice for other people !!
Take three or four small branches - with the greenery and all should be as thick as three or four fingers- and  tie them together with dark green plastic covered metal wire.
Take another three or four small branches, and attach them further up to the first bit of branches, so you get a long garland.Here is the garland:
Continue till the garland is long enough to form a circle of at least 25 inch. Attach the top and the bottom of the garland- when it is long enough- to each other.This will give you your wreath.

Take some sesonal ribbons and cut 4 long ones of the same lenght- these will be the ribbons that the wreath will be hanging from .Attach to the wreath.

Take a long bit of the green plastic covered metal wire and make a hoop that you fasten to the same wire like a big comma- it should be the size so the tealight you are going to use as a candle fits in ,but it sits tight and can't fall out.
Make four of these.Attach these evenly to the wreath like candle holders.

Thread the iced biscuits through with cotton string .



Then hang them from the wreath as decoration.
Attch a hook to the ceiling or in a doorway, and hang the adventswreath from there, and light the first candle.

                                                                Happy first Advent !!
                                                                     *    *    *    *

                                                 Below the recipe for the Christmas biscuits.

85 gr butter
100 gr caster sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
200 gr flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
300 gr icing sugar

How to make the biscuits:
Pre-heat the oven ( 180 degrees centigrade).Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the egg and vanilla sugar.Put the flour, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture.
Sprinkle out some flour on your kitchen table or worktop and roll out the dough. Butter 2 baking trays.Cut out as many stars as you can with a star-shaped cookie cutter, and place on the trays.
 You will have some dough left : sprinkle some more flour on your worktop , roll the remaining dough again into a ball and repeat the cutting out till you have your two trays full of dough stars.
Bake for about 10 minutes or so- keep an eye out: the bisuits should colour aroun the edges and not get too dark.Take the biscuits out and let them cool on a metal grid.

Let the biscuits cool down.Make the icing by adding a couple of hot water to the icng sugar, so it forms a thick paste.Spread the icing on the bisuits with the back of a teaspoon.
                                             Take a very tiny pointed object ( tip of embroidery scissors will do ) and wriggle this in carefully at the top of your biscuit , all the way through, and make a small hole that way.
Thread some cotton string through this and your biscuit is ready for your wreath.
                                                                *  *   *  *  *  *

While we are nice and warm inside, remember that snow and ice are no fun for the birds.. so put some food out if you can !!Mine are having some iced apples and sunflower seeds....
 I am linking this post to  the snow day bake-off  as I think there is nothing more cosy than baking when it's snowing outside !!

Happy baking !!                                                 




Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Bea,

No, you're not late... this first Advent lasts till Sunday when we move to the second.
I love your 'Eco Friendly' Advent wreath! Quite a stunning piece with clever use of the votive candles. And the BONUS are these yummy looking star shaped cookies. Great idea and that makes the children happy too.

Have a wonderful Advent season and enjoy your wreath!

Mariette's Back to Basics

DIYbyDesign said...

Beautiful wreath. I love the cookies as well. Thanks for your comments.

Jen @ EmbellishingLifeEveryday said...

Looks beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing and visiting my blog! :)

Kom Achterom said...

Super recept ik had het stiekem al even op mijn werk gezien hihihi soms moet ik gewoon even kijken! maar daar kan ik niet reageren. Wat leuk die prachtige krans! super leuk idee ik ben bezig met gingerbread huisjes! veel werk maar super leuk! dit jaar maak ik ze ook van zout brooddeeg dan kan ik ze bewaren. Het resultaat komt na de sint want ik maak ze voor mijn dochter als suprise.
maar je koekjes ga ik ook zeker proberen hoor!
fijne avond

Farah said...

Your cookies look great... I am sure they taste good as well
Can you please spare a little bit of your time for my new post, its something different I hope you enjoyed

Maaike said...

Ha Bea, wat een leuke en lieve berichtjes heb je op creJJtion geplaatst! Altijd gezellig om (oud) Amsterdammers te ontmoeten :-). Onze stad is nu mooi wit door de sneeuw, echt prachtig...
Leuk die kerstsfeer op je blog en de recepten erbij, geweldig. Ook leuk trouwens om te zien dat je ook allerlei Emma B bekers hebt; ik ben echt fan van haar producten en sfeertje.
Liefs en ik kom snel weer bij je langs!

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage said...

How fun! I use to do Advent activities each year, when my children were younger. I'll resume them again when my granddaughter is a bit older.

Thanks for linking to my party. I look forward to having you join me each week.

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

Anonymous said...

I do think this is a lovely idea, both frugal and beautiful. However my only concern is the flamability of the wreath along with the tea lights. Unfortunately so many families lose loved ones as well as their homes during the holidays due to burning candles. I do believe that the same effect could be captured useing the new battery opperated tea lights (you can find them almost everywhere including the dollar store). Instead of lighting the candle you would just flick on the light and not have to worry about dripping wax or an actual burning flame. You could "light it" and forget it. You would certainly have the same beautiful holiday piece without the hazardous flame. There's nothing like having a beautifully decorated home that is safe as well.

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

What fun! I'll bet the cookies are delicious and very well received.

Vanessa said...

What a darling advent wreath! It looks so fun and festive and yummy too. :-) Thank you so much for linking up to our Cookie Exchange! I can tell you are having a truly blessed Advent.

Anonymous said...

This is a darling wreath! Love how every element is handcrafted. Very cute! I know my kids would have a blast helping to make the cookie/biscuits!
Thanks for sharing your wreath and recipe!

Merry Christmas...

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Oooh, my children would love this!! There'd be no biscuits left!! They look yummy.


Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

Love your advent wreath! So festive with the lights and biscuits. :) Thank you for linking up to Homemade Christmas!