Celebrating St. Lucia Day with a recycled wreath and Lucy goodies!

Remember my leaf wreath?  I have recycled it into a wreath to celebrate Saint Lucy Day!

I removed the leaves and have stored them for next fall!  Then I added more wheat, the berries I used on my Advent Candle Wreath last year, and a few greens.  The berries and greens are about as close as I can get to actual Lingonberries which traditionally decorate St. Lucy wreaths.

I am still wanting to keep this wreath reusable, so to secure the white candles, I cut a piece of packaging styrofoam into a circle, jammed it into the center of the wreath and cut holes for the candles with a paring knife.  Since Styrofoam tends to shed tiny balls everywhere, I wrapped the styrofoam in plastic wrap before placing it into the wreath.

I covered the styrofoam with the greens.  Nothing is glued so I will be able to use this straw wreath again.

Now - lets move on to the goodies!  Luciapepparkakor ( gingerbread cookies) and Lussekatter (Lucia Bread)

In Sweden, it is traditional on St. Lucy morning for the eldest daughter in the household to bring her parents coffee and Lucia Bread and gingerbread cookies.

And I have found two delicious recipes to share with you so you can enjoy these treats on Sunday with me!

Luciapepparkakor (gingerbread cookies)

These are the BEST gingerbread cookies I have ever eaten.  I have been trying recipes for gingerbread cookies for years and years and have been almost always disappointed.  But these - OMG they are good.  I know they are good because I baked them a week ago and there are none left!   I will have to bake more for St. Lucy Day!

And on top of being delicious, not only is the cookie dough preparation very simple, but also quite unusual; and watching them bake is more fun than watching shrinky dinks shrink!  If you have an oven with a window, be sure to let your children watch them bake!

Heat the butter, sugar and Karo in a pan.

Once melted together it will look like this

.

Then mix in the eggs. flour and spices.  Set the pan aside and let it sit overnight at room temperature.

Turn it out on a work surface.

Gently knead it into a ball. I rolled mine into three balls because my work surface is pretty small.

Roll the dough quite thin and cut into shapes.

Tip:  This is a very soft, tender dough and I learned the hard way - use cookie cutters with simple shapes like hearts!  Even my stars look more like starfish. Hearts worked the best.  And since heartss abound in Swedish decor, what could be more appropriate?

And don't be afraid to use lots of flour when rolling the dough.

And now the fun begins! You won't believe what goes on in that oven!

The cookies start out very thin and begin to puff slightly as the dough gets hot.

Then the cookies puff up and get very fat!

Then, right before they are ready to come out of the oven, they get totally flat again!

You will need to experiment with the baking time to get the texture you prefer.  I like mine very crisp, my husband prefers his soft.  Vary the baking time to suit your taste.

Lucia Bread

This recipe makes delicious Lucy buns

Although the recipe suggests forming the little breads into traditional shaped, I decided to quit while I was ahead with my beautiful Challah braid and simply formed the dough into balls.

And since I had no saffron on hand, I followed the suggestion in the recipe to replace the saffron with cardamon and yellow food coloring.

After brushing the dough with egg, I followed a suggestion in another recipe and sprinkled chopped almonds, a few raisins and some large sugar crystals over the top.

And just look at how beautiful they are once baked!  And did I mention - they are delicious!!

The recipe makes 30 rolls so you may want to freeze some for Christmas morning!

Saint Lucia Day will be here on Sunday, December 13th. Not much time left to prepare!  I hope you will try at least one of these recipes and celebrate along with me Sunday morning.

 

Hi Pam - What a lovely and

Hi Pam - What a lovely and interesting blog! I came through the crafty crow. Interesting to see your Lucia bread and celebrations - we hail from Sweden so please check out our traditional shaped Lucia breads on www.squashedtomatoes.wordpress.com - I think they'll be under the category *in the kitchen' at the beg Dec or end Nov of 2009. You'll love them!
What a wonderfully colourful and creative house you must live in! I shall be checking your blog regularly! Thanks for sharing!

Ive looked everywhere here on

Ive looked everywhere here on your site but I cannot find your recipe of ingredients for the gingerbread cookies and Id love to make them for Christmas. Thanks for your help. Merry Christmas

I just wanted to let you know

I just wanted to let you know that I used your St. Lucia recipes this year and loved them. Thank you so much for posting them. I absolutely love the gingerbread recipe. I have linked my entry to your blog. I love your blog in general.
-Phyllis

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